While “The Walking Dead” is still going strong in its fifth season, AMC is betting big on the companion/spin-off series that’s already in production and slated to begin airing in the late summer of this year.
Today, the network announced that it had ordered two seasons for the still untitled companion series set in the aftermath of an ongoing zombie apocalypse. The first season will consist of only six one-hour episodes, and while it’s not clear how long the second season will be, it’s already slated to have its premiere follow in 2016.
Cliff Curtis (“Gang Related”), Kim Dickens (Gone Girl), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Storm) have been confirmed to star in the series, and in addition to the above photo, this image was also released by AMC as a first look at the forthcoming expansion of “The Walking Dead” universe:
It sounds like this series should open up the mystery of what caused the zombie outbreak a little bit more, filling in the time between life before the apocalypse and when we see Rick Grimes wake up in the first episode of “The Walking Dead,” albeit by focusing on a completely different part of the country.Charlie Collier, AMC president teases:
“We take incredibly seriously the notion of building a satisfying companion series to the number one show on television. From the beginning of ‘The Walking Dead’ on AMC, we’ve been asked questions about what was going on in other parts of the zombie apocalypse, and what it looked like as the world really did ‘turn.’ Through this new series, we’re going to find out.”
While the press release didn’t confirm any of the story details, we’d previously heard that Curtis plays Sean Cabrera, a teacher who shares a son with his ex-wife, Andrea. He’s described as a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life. Meanwhile Dickens is playing Nancy, a guidance counselor who works at the school with Sean and has a relationship with him as well. In tow are Dillane and Carey as Nick and Ashley, both Nancy’s kids. Nick has a drug problem while Ashley is ambitious and was hoping to attend Berkley when the zombie apocalypse changes those plans completely.
Executive producer Robert Kirkman adds, “We feel empowered by this two-season commitment, a serious show of faith from our network partner AMC. I personally take it as a sign that they believe, like we do, that we’ve accomplished our goal of developing something original that can pay tribute to the original show and expand the world I created while at the same time having something new to say with this story.”
Kirkman is reteaming with Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert on this companion series with Dave Erickson (“Marco Polo,” “Sons of Anarchy” acting as executive producer and showrunner in addition to co-writing the pilot with Kirkman as well. Here’s hoping they find the same kind of success as “The Walking Dead” and have rich characters to change things up so we’re not just seeing more of the same.
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