‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff In the Works at AMC

AMC is in the initial stages of developing a companion series to its original drama series “The Walking Dead” to be executive produced by the “Walking Dead” team’s Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert.

The new series has a target on-air date of 2015. It helps AMC fill gaps created by the exit of “Breaking Bad” this year and “Mad Men” next year. The network is already planning a “Breaking Bad” spinoff, “Better Call Saul.”

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The “Walking Dead” companion show makes sense because the zombie drama is the top-rated scripted show on TV, and focuses on only a small corner of a zombie-infested world. The companion show can dramatically expand the scope of that world.

“Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president and general manager. “We look forward to working with Robert, Gale and Dave again as we develop an entirely new story and cast of characters. It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse.”

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“After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of ‘The Walking Dead’ universe,” said Kirkman. “The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.”

Season four of “The Walking Dead” returns to AMC on Oct. 13.

The new show also makes sense for AMC because its other attempts at new dramas have been mixed successes at best: It has canceled “The Killing” twice, and the new “Low Winter Sun” hasn’t caught fire.