AMC has placed a two-season order for the coming “Walking Dead” companion series, the title of which is still to be announced.
The upcoming series will be set in Los Angeles and revolve around new characters and storylines. The first season, consisting of six one-hour episodes, will premiere in the late summer, with the second installment airing next year.
Cliff Curtis (“Gang Related”) has been cast as the male lead in the series, which is being executive produced by “Dead” trio Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert. Series co-creator and co-writer Dave Erickson (“Marco Polo,” “Sons of Anarchy”) will serve as showrunner as well as executive producer.
“We take incredibly seriously the notion of building a satisfying companion series to the No. 1 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,” AMC President Charlie Collier said. “Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson and their writing team, along with an incomparable set of producers, cast and crew have created something remarkable and clearly distinct. We respectfully follow the request of Monty Python as we bring out (the latest of) our Dead.”
“We feel empowered by this two-season commitment, a serious show of faith from our network partner AMC,” Kirkman added. “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. I’m very grateful that we now have the opportunity to tell this amazing story and show the fans that we really haven’t scratched the surface yet when it comes to ‘The Walking Dead.;”
“This vote of confidence from our partners at AMC is gratifying, to say the least,” 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 zombie series “The Walking Dead” has been a huge ratings success for the network, regularly ranking as the top show in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic for the past three seasons.
While the two-season order is a definite show of confidence for the upcoming series, doubling down on a yet-to-air offering is not unprecedented for AMC, which gave a two-season order to the “Breaking Bad” prequel “Better Call Saul” before its premiere.
AMC Global, AMC’s international television network, has acquired international TV rights to the new series, with plans to air episodes within 24 hours of their U.S. premiere.