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Saturday, August 27, 2016

THE WALKING DEAD Was Almost an NBC Procedural without Zombies


If you needed more proof that NBC has no clue about comic book TV shows, this might be the smoking gun.

Variety revealed yesterday that AMC's hit series The Walking Dead was almost an NBC series, and would've been far removed from the zombie drama we know and love.

Speaking at a masterclass at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in Scotland, Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd remarked that before the show was picked up by AMC for domestic and Fox for international, show creator Frank Darabont originally presented the first version of the script to NBC, with whom he had an overall deal.

According to Gale, NBC asked "Do there have to be zombies [in it]" and then asked Darabont if the series could be a crime procedural, where the two main protagonists would "solve a zombie crime of the week."

The Walking Dead: Special Victims Unit, anyone?

NBC, of course, is the same network that buried the DC Comics/VERTIGO-based series Constantine in a Friday Night Death Slot at 10 p.m. EST, where the show was eventually cancelled after just 13 episodes, even with a passionate fan following.  In addition, the DC Comics-based sitcom Powerless was picked up by NBC for the upcoming fall season, but has yet to be scheduled on the network and also recently lost showrunner Ben Queen.

Thankfully, however, The Walking Dead continues to thrive on AMC, having ended it's sixth season.  Hurd also remarked during the masterclass that the humans are at the center of the drama, with people new to the show surprised that "it’s not about the zombies, it’s about the humans."

In addition, Hurd said the drama's focus is on the evolution of the characters.  "What attracted me to [Robert Kirkman’s] comic-book series is that it is a story about characters on a journey into this new world, and constantly trying to figure out not only how to survive but what’s important to them, and some characters give up, some characters commit suicide, and they are constantly evolving, they are constantly meeting new characters. They have to determine friend or foe, and very quickly we realize that it is not the zombies you have to be afraid of, it’s the other humans."

The Walking Dead returns to AMC for its seventh season on Sunday, October 23rd at 9 p.m. EST.

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