The Telefile

The Walking Dead Spin-Off: Use Your Braaaaains, AMC

by Aly Semigran September 16, 2013 1:58 pm
<i>The Walking Dead</i> Spin-Off: Use Your Braaaaains, AMC

You know how you already can't get enough of the characters on The Walking Dead and you think to yourself, "Boy, if only I could watch more insufferable people try to survive the zombie apocalypse? (Hello, anyone?) Well, AMC has decided to give us just that with a Walking Dead companion series slated for 2015.

The proposed spin-off series will come straight from the source, Walking Dead comics creator Robert Kirkman, along with executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert. Charlie Collier, AMC's president and general manager said in a statement: "Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer. 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."

Kirkman added in the same press release: "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. 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."

The unnamed Walking Dead companion series (which will likely feature an onslaught of new characters from the long-running comic series, but could very well bring back some favorites from the, well, dead) comes one week after the cable network announced that their Saul Goodman Breaking Bad spin-off series Better Call Saul was a go.

Now, as any TV fanatic knows, for every Frasier, a little Joey must fall: those spin-offs are a tricky business. Here's some suggestions for AMC for their upcoming roster of companion pieces to two wildly popular hits. Lightning may not strike twice, but they can at, the very least, avoid getting burnt to a crisp.

No More Musical Showrunners

The only thing that can be more deadly than a spin-off, is behind-the-scenes showrunner drama. (The ugly Dan Harmon feud resulted in the premature creative death of Community). The Walking Dead has already chomped through Frank Darabont and Glen Mazzara (Scott Gimple is in the hot seat for Season 4) and the tonal shifts off screen could very much be felt on screen. Look, we're sure these choices are a lot more complicated than we can give it credit for, but you can't build a strong lineup if you keep switching out the coach. Put someone in charge of this spin-off that can see it for the long haul and chart the course.

Connect the Dots or Disconnect Completely

We admit, we've got our trepidations about watching Better Call Saul. Not because we don't love the character or the great Bob Odenkirk (we do), but because we want our Breaking Bad experience to end with Breaking Bad. Nods here and there may be a necessity, of course, but anything that prompts a comparison to one of television's greatest shows ever will only hurt Mr. Goodman and Co. Now, The Walking Dead has, shall we say, a little more wiggle room in that regard, but we'd still be more interested in seeing an entirely different set of people (or walkers, for that matter) in the spin-off. Sure, it'd be fun if they came across stupid Carl on their travels and noted just how stupid he was, but we're more interested to see what's going on over on the West Coast. Or better yet, in another country.

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It or Reinvent It

People watch The Walking Dead because of those kick-ass zombie kills. And yeah, yeah, the personal lives and struggles of those living in a world with no hope. Even if this new series is about, say, the years right before a cure is found and the years afterwards about rebuilding the world (now, that would be an interesting show), you can't take out those key elements. Zombie brain-smashing, always.

Oh God, No Andrea or Lori or Dale, Please

If you insist on waking up the dead in the companion series, please, please don't bring Andrea or Lori or Dale back into the fray. We were way too happy to see them go the first time around. That said, if you want to bring back Zombie T-Dog, we're all for it.

These Are Good For Now, Thanks

We'd rather get our brains eaten than have to watch any Low Winter Sun or Hell on Wheels spin-offs. But we have to admit that we'd be tempted by a Mad Men companion series… What About Bob Benson?, anyone?

The Walking Dead Season 4 debuts on October 13 on AMC at 9 PM ET.




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