Er, great news: New spin-off confirmed for “The Walking Dead”

posted at 6:01 pm on March 28, 2014 by Allahpundit

A zombie-themed palate cleanser in honor of the left, which is busy eating its own this afternoon. You know, just the other day I was thinking, “How am I going to bore myself on Sunday nights once TWD’s season is over?” Soon I might not have to ask: There may be “Walking Dead” derivatives airing on AMC all year round. Given the ratings, who could blame them? May a thousand grumble threads bloom, my friends.

Seriously, though, this is good news. Seriously!

Months after AMC announced its intention to create a companion show to The Walking Dead, the network has confirmed that the series is officially happening, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The network brought on writer-producer Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy, Low Winter Sun) as showrunner, executive producer and co-writer, according to Uproxx. He joins a team for the show that includes Dead creator Robert Kirkman and producer Gale Anne Hurd.

The still-untitled series was previously rumored to be a prequel that would focus on the events that led up to the main series’ apocalyptic storyline. But neither the network nor the producers have hinted at what the show will be about other than the fact that it won’t technically be a “spinoff” since it won’t feature characters from The Walking Dead TV series. Uproxx theorizes that the new series will be set in the same apocalypse timeline. Last year, creator Robert Kirkman confirmed that the show will feature an entirely new cast and location, but offered little else.

Is it a spin-off or is it a reboot? If the big change in the new show is primarily about location, i.e. the urban side of the zombie apocalypse, then it’s basically a reboot. Which is fine: The problem all along with TWD has been that the characters aren’t interesting and the story moves too slowly. The basic premise is golden; what you need are new writers and a new cast to do a better job of exploring it. If, on the other hand, the new show is a prequel about the zombie outbreak a la “World War Z,” that’s fine too — the moral agonies of quarantine are rich fuel for drama. I wonder, though, how long they can sustain that, especially since we know upfront that the outbreak does not, in fact, end up being contained. How many seasons of “it’s spreading further west!” can you do before that either gets stale or evolves into the same sort of post-apocalypse survivalist travelogue as TWD?

My two cents: They should forget about having a recurring cast or, if they insist on having one, they should use it sparingly. They should definitely forget about having a recurring set insofar as the show’s budget permits that. One of the frustrations of the zombie genre is that the outbreak is always of global scope but, with rare exceptions (like “World War Z”), the story sticks to just one tiny corner of it. If you jettison the recurring cast — or focus on them only sporadically, a la the “mythology” storyline on “The X Files” — you can paint on many more parts of that canvas. Why not do a satire of the media by devoting one episode to how cable news would have handled the first outbreak of zombie-ism? Do an episode from a war room as political leaders try to game out how other nations would respond militarily to zombie chaos. Have one set in a hospital as doctors try to cope with the injured while holding zombies at bay. You could even invite accomplished directors to contribute an episode, just to see how different sensibilities approach a problem like this. One of the reasons I grumble about the show (more than I should, in fairness) is because it’s always in the back of my mind when I’m watching that there are many more interesting things going on in the fictional world of TWD than 45 minutes of Rick moping about Lori. This isn’t “Lost”; the writers aren’t stuck on an island. Why grant yourself a set as big as the whole world if all you want to do is screw around in a corner of Georgia? The new show solves that problem. A little.


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Joanie eats Chachi?

Flange on March 28, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Ooooh yea!!!!!!

AP grumble threads now ensured for YEARS!

Ps can’t wait for his 24 grumble threads.

blatantblue on March 28, 2014 at 6:06 PM

Is WW Z worth the time it’ll take me to steal it off the internet and watch it?

aquaviva on March 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

I Eat Lucy?

steebo77 on March 28, 2014 at 6:08 PM

I’ve been playing around with “What I’d do with a TWD spinoff”.

And the obvious answer is– set a large group of survivors, like in Texas or Nebraska, working against the Zombies. I liked the Texas location better, as some small micro-communities organize into a place called “Lone Star” and organized to fight the hordes from Austin, Houston and San Antonio. They would have to struggle to solve basic problems (food, clean water, crops, medicine, power, ammunition shortages, etc). And they would be threatened by the few million or so zombies wandering around Texas, as well as marauders from Mexico and around the US.

Plus I’d make sure there was a religious undercurrent, a recurring idea that this is a real Biblical apocalypse, and how the main characters dealt with it.

Nethicus on March 28, 2014 at 6:09 PM

Yes, WW Z is worth the time. The Israel wall scene alone is worth it.

John the Libertarian on March 28, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Is WW Z worth the time it’ll take me to steal it off the internet and watch it?

aquaviva on March 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

If you like zombie movies and aren’t one of those who hate fast zombies… then yeah, its worth watching.

sharrukin on March 28, 2014 at 6:10 PM

They should combine Mad Men & Walking Dead.

portlandon on March 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Just promise us that if you don’t like it, you’ll stop watching (unlike now).

Nessuno on March 28, 2014 at 6:15 PM

They should combine Mad Men & Walking Dead.

portlandon on March 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM

They did. It was called The West Wing.

John the Libertarian on March 28, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Is WW Z worth the time it’ll take me to steal it off the internet and watch it?

aquaviva on March 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

I didn’t think so but I didn’t think the book was that great either.

Dr. Frank Enstine on March 28, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Does anyone actually watch this ridiculous tripe?

Jaibones on March 28, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Joanie eats Chachi?

Flange on March 28, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Awesome!

I’d award you the internet, but you prolly don’t know how to use it.

/Harry Reid

mankai on March 28, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Does anyone actually watch this ridiculous tripe?
Jaibones on March 28, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Mark Levin opened his show talking about the death of Jeremiah Denton today
and how he blinked the word “torture” in morse code when paraded before cameras by his Vietnam
captors and went on to become a Republican senator? It’s a shame I’d never heard of him but from what I heard he deserves to be remembered.

Marcus on March 28, 2014 at 6:25 PM

Better Eat Saul!

Two spin offs for the price of one.

Blake on March 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM

Non-stop grumble threads? There is a God.

Hog Wild on March 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM

The problem all along with TWD has been that the characters aren’t interesting and the story moves too slowly. The basic premise is golden; what you need are new writers and a new cast to do a better job of exploring it.

Let me dash your hopes right now:

The network brought on writer-producer Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy, Low Winter Sun) as showrunner

Kataklysmic on March 28, 2014 at 6:30 PM

I would love an alternate story line that would air during the spring & summer based on the same premise! And make it in a state that thinks strong gun laws are the way to go! With lots of liberal Lizzies that think the walkers are just biologically challenged.

samazf on March 28, 2014 at 6:31 PM

The problem all along with TWD has been that the characters aren’t interesting and the story moves too slowly.

Then why do you watch it?

Stoic Patriot on March 28, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Why grant yourself a set as big as the whole world if all you want to do is screw around in a corner of Georgia? The new show solves that problem. A little.

The Last of Us did a better job in that respect by going from Texas to Boston to Colorado.

Stoic Patriot on March 28, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Is WW Z worth the time it’ll take me to steal it off the internet and watch it?

aquaviva on March 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Long Answer: No.

Short Answer: F**K, No.

BlaxPac on March 28, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Allahpundit is a Zombie… TWD is a documentary to her…

oscarwilde on March 28, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Is WW Z worth the time it’ll take me to steal it off the internet and watch it?

aquaviva on March 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Yes but I wished I had seen it in the theater. IT’s a fun ride….and I don’t like Pitt.

CW on March 28, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Robert Kirkman confirmed that the show will feature an entirely new cast and location

Tt’s gonna be the same thing with different people in a different geographical location?

So like Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, then, where the second series is basically a dumping ground for ideas that they couldn’t use in its parent series. Gotcha.

mintycrys on March 28, 2014 at 7:05 PM

They should take a cue from the brilliant British mini-series ‘Dead Set’ and use reality TV as a backdrop.

St. Regis Philbin on March 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

I don’t do gore. Not now not ever.

CW20 on March 28, 2014 at 7:15 PM

A few of Allah Pundit’s ideas for a zombie show sound interesting, but I don’t have a problem with focusing on a handful of characters in one area of the world.

Just last episode or the one before (I forget which), Carol shot a little (NON zombified) girl in the head.

The show may have moments where things get slow, but there are pay offs here and there.

I happen to like some of the characters, such as Rick, Daryl, and Michonne, and I enjoy learning more about them, or simply watching them deal with the apocalypse.

TigerPaw on March 28, 2014 at 7:24 PM

So, you’re saying that you want Zombie Playhouse 90?

derit on March 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM

They should combine Mad Men & Walking Dead.

portlandon on March 28, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Someone already did, about a year ago:

Walking Dead Mad Men!

TigerPaw on March 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM

How about a Mad Max cross-over?

The Lord Humongous bites you!

ajacksonian on March 28, 2014 at 7:36 PM

Allahpundit, I love you man, but really, you’re taking this way, way, too seriously. Watch Boardwalk Empire. All the living characters in the show are kind of hateful, and the only guy I really liked was killed off last season. But hey, it’s better than watching zombies and sweaty humans who haven’t taken a bath in about three seasons!

Libertyship46 on March 28, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Something tells me this Sunday will be Michonne’s last episode.

Patrap on March 28, 2014 at 8:01 PM

One of the reasons I grumble about the show (more than I should, in fairness) is because it’s always in the back of my mind when I’m watching that there are many more interesting things going on in the fictional world of TWD than 45 minutes of Rick moping about Lori.

You forget the “Carl suffering teen agnst in a zombie world” theme. Absolutely riveting! Any day now I expect Carl to scream I hate you- I hate you- I hate you! At rick and slam a door when Rick objects to Carl’s teenage zombie girlfriend. ;0

Seriously, the regulars have become so boring at times, I find myself rooting for the walkers. Though we did learn this season that even at the end of the world as we know it- nobody likes peach schnapps.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:07 PM

Something tells me this Sunday will be Michonne’s last episode.

Patrap on March 28, 2014 at 8:01 PM

I’m guessing Glenn.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:09 PM

Is WW Z worth the time it’ll take me to steal it off the internet and watch it?

aquaviva on March 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Not unless you enjoy zombies that move like Class VI rapids. Ridiculous, frankly. Utterly ridiculous.

I don’t do gore. Not now not ever.

CW20 on March 28, 2014 at 7:15 PM

That’s what Tipper said. Good for you, good for her!

xNavigator on March 28, 2014 at 8:10 PM

A prequel without zombies would be like a tofu turkey.

Festus on March 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

So, you’re saying that you want Zombie Playhouse 90?

derit on March 28, 2014 at 7:29 PM

That actually would be very cool. Different characters, directors, writers, etc. all working within the framework of a single set of events. Say, for example, the month that things spun out of control. So, the viewer would be familiar with the general plot points but not how the characters respond.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:13 PM

They should take a cue from the brilliant British mini-series ‘Dead Set’ and use reality TV as a backdrop.

St. Regis Philbin on March 28, 2014 at 7:10 PM

We already have brain dead people wandering around with reality TV as a backdrop. It’s called The Bachelor or Bachelorette depending on the sex of the runner-up individual who whored themselves most.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 8:18 PM

Yes, World War Z is worth it, especially as you can get good quality copies of it now for free.

blue13326 on March 28, 2014 at 8:39 PM

And your idea won’t work, Allah, TV is all about character. You get people hooked by making them care about the characters.

blue13326 on March 28, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Something tells me this Sunday will be Michonne’s last episode.

Patrap on March 28, 2014 at 8:01 PM

I can only hope.

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the actor. But the idea of a woman warrior wielding a samurai sword against zombies just makes me think of her as just another male pubescent fantasy of a kick-ass female character in tight clothing, master martial artist, swordswoman extraordinaire, etc. Sort of along the lines of River in Serenity, virtually all of the movies of Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil, Ultraviolet, The Fifth Element), the Underworld franchises, even the Black Widow in the Avengers / Iron Man movies.

Mitoch55 on March 28, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Allah is like those people who proudly claim they don’t own a television hoping it makes them seem so enlightened and above trivial little things. He is obsessed with Walking Dead but pretends he doesn’t like it because … you know, his so above that stuff. Like I said before, most people who don’t like a certain TV show don’t watch it. If you really love a certain TV show, you never miss an episode. So, we know where Allah sits. The pretending that you can’t stand the show is getting old.

The Notorious G.O.P on March 28, 2014 at 9:05 PM

It’ll be as good as Star Wars … 1, 2 and 3.

Ruckus_Tom on March 28, 2014 at 9:09 PM

I think it will be Rick’s last show this week. He will be on Talking Dead live Sunday for the first time ever, which is usually the kiss of death for cast members. He seems like the type that would not miss an opportunity to have fans boohoo over him.

HellCat on March 28, 2014 at 9:38 PM

How about the title: Harry Reid’s Integrity

No, I guess that could never work. Nobody would believe such a thing exists.

There are studies that prove you are more likely to be beamed up by a UFO piloted by zombies than to find an atom of integrity in Harry Reid.

s1im on March 28, 2014 at 9:45 PM

the idea of a woman warrior wielding a samurai sword against zombies just makes me think of her as just another male pubescent fantasy of a kick-ass female character in tight clothing, master martial artist, swordswoman extraordinaire, etc.

Mitoch55 on March 28, 2014 at 8:59 PM

I think you are wrong here. The women of Walking Dead are actually the stronger characters. And it isn’t just because the survivor females can kill walkers like a man.

Carol, for example, was the only one who thought it necessary to teach the young how to kill walkers. Carol was raising the next generation while Rick was raising crops.

Michonne has discovered a talent that she probably wouldn’t have discovered before the walkers took over the ATL. Had she lived in Detroit, the story would have been different. Nevertheless, she has her weapon of choice just like Daryl has his crossbow.

And BTW, Danai Gurira is hot and intelligent. I don’t want to see her character go anywhere!!!

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 10:49 PM

I think it will be Rick’s last show this week. He will be on Talking Dead live Sunday for the first time ever, which is usually the kiss of death for cast members. He seems like the type that would not miss an opportunity to have fans boohoo over him.

HellCat on March 28, 2014 at 9:38 PM

Wrong!

Last episode of the season. At most it will end as if Rick is dead. It will end with enough outs that he can surface from a pile of dispatched walkers at the beginning of the next season. Rick is the Jack Bauer of TWD- bulletproof. Even as those around him are not.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Last episode of the season. At most it will end as if Rick is dead. It will end with enough outs that he can surface from a pile of dispatched walkers at the beginning of the next season. Rick is the Jack Bauer of TWD- bulletproof. Even as those around him are not.

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 11:02 PM

Annie Wilkes agrees with you.

Mitoch55 on March 28, 2014 at 11:27 PM


“The Jogging Dead”

OxyCon on March 28, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Happy Nomad on March 28, 2014 at 10:49 PM

I agree with you. The women are the stronger characters. But Michonne is straight out of the lurid pubescent imaginations of teenage boys. A fighter with t!ts so they can say, “Man! Look at how she fights!” when their parents catch them rewinding the movie (back in the days of VHS) and playing it back in slow motion.

Mitoch55 on March 28, 2014 at 11:32 PM

I think it will be Rick’s last show this week. He will be on Talking Dead live Sunday for the first time ever, which is usually the kiss of death for cast members.

HellCat on March 28, 2014 at 9:38 PM

That may or may not mean anything.

The actor who plays Glenn has been on Talking Dead 2 or 3 times before, as has, I believe, his TV girlfriend, Maggie. But they are still on the show, to this point.

If anything, if the Terminus lady (who was manning the BBQ grill on last episode) is part of a cannibal clan (paralleling the comic book), I’d say maybe either Bethe Greene was already turned into a hamburger (that was her body parts cooking on the grill, the meat that was cooking), or Maggie, Glenn, Sasha, and Bob will be turned into sandwiches.

Maybe by the time Rick, Carl, and Michonne arrive at Terminus, they will find Maggie, Glenn, and Bob dead and cooked on the grill, with apples in their mouths.

Hellcat said

He [Rick Grimes / Andrew Lincoln] seems like the type that would not miss an opportunity to have fans boohoo over him.

HellCat on March 28, 2014 at 9:38 PM

The actor who plays him? I don’t get them from him at all.

If Lincoln was a camera hog, attention-seeking guy, he would be out there more than he is.

Norman Reedus (who plays Daryl Dixon) does far more fan convention and TV show and magazine interviews than Lincoln. (I’m not saying that Reedus is an egotist, though, he seems quite the opposite.)

But if Lincoln wanted that sort of attention, he could be on TV ten times more than he is, and at all the fan conventions. He doesn’t do a lot of interviewing in print or on TV.

TigerPaw on March 29, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Here is the list of Walking Dead characters

I miss Shane, Merle, Dale, Hershel.

I wish they had done more with Axel, the dopey prisoner who had sided with Rick’s group and was falling in love just as he got shot in the head. But a prequel would be mainly him being a criminal

I also wish I could have seen more of Otis(?). I think it was Otis who shot Carl, and was fed to the zombies by Shane. He was likable, and there aren’t many likable on WD.

I was burned out on Rick and Lori. If they did a prequel of that soap opera I might not be able to take it

entagor on March 29, 2014 at 1:39 PM

We need to show obama as a zombie, followed by his obamabots in t-shirts with his logo on it, all wandering around chicago looking for a community to organize.

Diluculo on March 29, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Actually, by the end of the Woodbury season I totally burned out on zombies, period. What new twist can there be? Zombie superheroes? Celebrities as zombies? “Zombieland” already did that when Bill Murray turned up as himself.

kd6rxl on March 29, 2014 at 3:51 PM

Walking Dead is a great comic/graphic novel series. The tv series is not faring so well. The characters are stale, the story in boring, and the writers seem to be making it up as they go along. The show feels like it is in the doldrums. It should be cancelled as soon as possible. Someone forgot that at the end of the day, this is just a story about zombies…not a post apocalyptic version of Lost.

stuartm650 on March 29, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Is WW Z worth the time it’ll take me to steal it off the internet and watch it?

aquaviva on March 28, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Ok..I have to grudgingly admit, I liked and I liked the book even more..much better than the movie. And I am an aging old vet who is so conservative, I make Ted Nugent look like a flower child…..

norm1111 on March 29, 2014 at 7:14 PM

they should do “walking dead: US Navy” miniseries

start on an aircraft carrier, and have someone get hurt badly or killed through normal operations. shortly after getting him to the medical bay, he turns. slowly the walkers take over the ship..it is a closed environment after all..end with the ship moving slowly in large circles, completely overrun by walkers.

another question..through the whole walking dead TV show and comics..where are the submarines? a sub (and any other nuke powered ship) would be able to keep going for a long time, and you’d think they’d start working together.

raiding ships and shore facilities for food, trading fresh water and fuel to other sea-going survivors, ect…

warhorse_03826 on March 30, 2014 at 1:31 AM

Is WW Z worth the time it’ll take me to steal it off the internet and watch it?

NO, its nothing like the book, only the name is the same

its brad pitt vs fast zombies. very FAST
and when bit you die and turn in like 10 seconds

sniffles1999 on March 30, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Surprised no thread for the final episode. Just watched it. It was great.

entagor on March 30, 2014 at 10:35 PM

Allah,

One of the problems with all episodic TV in my opinion is that they want to milk it forever. Setting up a well-paced series that starts and stops in a season or two would make a LOT of series better I think.

Along those lines (and based on your comments above), I think you might find the Newsflesh trilogy (Feed, Deadline and Blackout) my Mira Grant to be of interest. The settings are not as diverse as you envision, but the angle of approach is different and much more contemporary than a lot of the current Zombie community.

I think the stories could translate into a very good limited series.

txGreg on March 31, 2014 at 4:06 PM