Walking Dead spin-off gets two full seasons before it even has a name
AMC just announced that it has so much faith in the upcoming, untitled Walking Dead spin-off, that it already greenlit the series for two seasons. The pilot has yet to air and it doesn’t even have an official title yet, but it has a commitment for two full seasons.
Now that’s confidence in a brand.
That’s not really surprising though. It’s not like AMC is taking a wild leap of faith. The Walking Dead is currently in the midst of its fifth season, and its ratings are crushing the competition. Not only is it setting records for cable TV programming, it is putting up numbers that should be making the traditional networks jealous. Last week alone, The Walking Dead was watched by around 14.5 million viewers live. That is nearly 10 million more viewers than the third best rated cable TV show, Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush, was seen by 4.9 million.
The show is so successful, that the second most watch cable show last week (the week ending on March 8), was Talking Dead, The Walking Dead after-show hosted by Chris Hardwick.
So a spin-off isn’t surprising, neither is the early commitment from AMC.
It may also have something to do with positive reactions from the pilot, which finished filming on February 6. It may still be undergoing some polish, and as with all pilots there is a chance that parts of it will be reshot, but the network probably wouldn’t give the show two complete seasons if it didn’t like what it saw.
The spin-off will feature a cast of completely new characters created by the comic’s creator, Robert Kirkman. It is set in and around Los Angeles, so don’t expect a crossover with The Walking Dead, at least not for years. The spin-off will also begin during the early days of the zombie outbreak, so the show is technically a prequel. It could always jump forward in time, of course, but that might make it harder for audiences to connect with the characters in time to watch them die a grizzly and soul-shattering death. Wheeeeeeee..
“This vote of confidence from our partners at AMC is gratifying, to say the least,” Showrunner Dave Erickson said. “We’ve been blessed with amazing writers and a stellar cast — and we can’t wait to build this apocalyptic drama over the next two seasons and hopefully beyond.”
The first season will consist of six episodes, just like The Walking Dead’s first season. AMC didn’t state how many would be coming in the second season, but it will probably be between six and 13 episodes. The first season will debut this summer, the second will air in 2016.