To say that The Walking Dead has been a success for AMC would probably be an understatement. While the network has seen some success with some of its other series, none of them are coming close to the kind of ratings the zombie drama brings in. So it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that AMC might want to expand on the TWD presence by developing a spinoff, which will focus on a new set of characters existing in the same world as Rick and the rest of his people.
THR reports that Walking Dead comics creator Robert Kirkman will re-team with Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert on a new scripted series, described as a second companion series to The Walking Dead. The post-episode talk show Talking Dead is the first. Kirkman, Hurd and Alpert will serve as executive producers for the project, which will come from AMC Studios. And AMC's looking to get this show on the air in 2015.
Here's what Kirkman has said about the spinoff:
“After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn't be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn't tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.”
There's no mention of any of the characters in this new project being introduced in some way in the current Walking Dead series, but AMC's announcement says this will be a new story with a new cast of characters, so it's entirely possible there will be no tie-in among these characters with the original Walking Dead people, other than that they all exist in the same zombie-infested world.
The automatic reaction here might be to scoff at the idea of a spinoff, but I can't help but feel optimistic about this, especially as it means one more zombie drama on TV. Plus, it's an opportunity to approach the zombie apocalypse from a completely new perspective. One thing we've learned over the last few seasons of TWD is that not everyone is surviving the same way. There are people like Herschel and his family who are holed up in remote locations together. And there are people like the Woodbury residents, trying to create a happy community, walled away from the chaos. And then there are semi-drifters like Rick and his group, who have spent a good portion of the series looking for a place to settle and currently residing in an abandoned prison. There are other scenarios that could be explored, and without being encumbered by the events and character drama of the original series, it seems like this show could be a great opportunity to grow the universe and not only introduce new characters, but new kinds of characters. Again though, that may just be me being optimistic. Sure, this could just be AMC's attempt to double their profits, so to speak, but viewers could benefit from this too if the spinoff works.
More isn't always better, but sometimes it is.
Watch the latest Walking Dead Season 4 preview here.