AMC Greenlights WALKING DEAD Pilot

As you may or may not already know, AMC has officially greenlit a pilot for Walking Dead.

What does that mean? Well it means that Frank Darabont has been given the go ahead to shoot and deliver a pilot episode to AMC for series consideration. Does it mean we will definitely get a Walking Dead series from the network that brings us two of the best dramas on TV — Mad Men and Breaking Bad? No, it doesn't. All it means at this point is that they are going to make a pilot and if it doesn't get picked up for series we might not even ever see it. So let's cross our fingers.

Here's the press release:

"Madmen" and "Breaking Bad" Network Greenlights Walking Dead Pilot

BERKELEY, CA — 20 January, 2010 — Variety reported today that Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's ongoing tale of survival horror in a post-apocalyptic world, THE WALKING DEAD, has been greenlit as a pilot by AMC.

"THE WALKING DEAD's road to the small screen has been a long one, but so far it's looking like the best of all worlds," creator and writer Robert Kirkman said. "Given AMC's track record with shows like 'Madmen' and 'Breaking Bad,' combined with Frank Darabont writing and directing, I couldn't possibly be more excited for this to come together. Having the pilot greenlit is a huge leap forward to this becoming a reality."

THE WALKING DEAD has been published by Image Comics since 2003, with the series' 69th issue due in stores next week. Current plans are for the AMC series to closely adapt the storylines presented in the monthly comics.

In addition to the ongoing com ics series, there are 11 trade paperbacks currently in print, collecting issues 1-66, along with a series of five hardcovers covering #1-60. The first 48 issues have also been collected in two limited edition slipcased hardcovers and a softcover compendium. Across are formats the series remains a sales juggernaut with the title charting on the New York Times' graphic novels bestsellers list numerous times.

"Since its debut in October 2003, THE WALKING DEAD has been nothing short of unstoppable," said Image Comics Publisher Eric Stephenson. "Over the last five years, sales on both the single issues and the trade paperback and hardcover collections have gone from strength to strength, so it's no surprise that THE WALKING DEAD is now poised for success on TV. Everyone at Image is very excited to see this project come to light."

THE WALKING DEAD #69, a 32-page black and white comic priced at $2.99, will be on sale at finer comic book stores everywhere January 27.

Image Comics is a comics and graphic novels publisher formed in 1992 by a collective of best-selling artists.  Since that time, Image has gone on to become one of the largest comics publishers in the United States. There are currently five partners in Image Comics (Robert Kirkman, Erik Larsen, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino), and Image is currently divided into four major houses (Todd McFarlane Productions, Top Cow Productions, Shadowline, and Image Central). Image comics and graphic novels cover nearly every genre, sub-genre, and style imaginable, offering science fiction, romance, horror, crime fiction, historical fiction, humor, and more by the finest artists and writers working in the medium today. For more information, visit


  1. This is phenomenally good news. I totally agree with Kirkman that The Walking Dead is better suited to a television series rather than a movie. This will be on my must watch list whenever it comes out.

  2. Sweet, I’m read through the second hardcover…

  3. Where’s the "Powers" tv show?!

  4. @Kick-Ass: It’s in development hell right now. Looks like they are starting over from scratch.

  5. This is badass!  I was hoping this would go throgh and it looks like it could be on its way.  I alwasy thoght that a zombie TV show would be cool, I never thoght it could be from the Walking Dead comics.  I’m real exciting about this, I hope it works out.

  6. Great news. I really think this could work as a show. Why wouldn’t it?

    AMC has taken HUGE chances already and they have two hit shows. Hell Mad Men is considered (arguably I know) the best show on tv period. Let them take a chance and see if Robert Kirkman’s madness works.

    I hope they do air the pilot either way or release in like….a special DVD release. Image could totally at least market the ‘Unseen Walking Dead Pilot’ in some way.


  8. Very exciting. Kirkman’s beard is pleased.

  9. Frank Darabont is one of my favorite directors ever, Walking Dead is one of the best comics ever, and AMC is currently one of the best networks on TV. This has the potential for being really, really, REALLY good.

  10. Hells yea!
    I have never been more psyched for a tv show (probably not true,) but that is what it feels like. I was hoping Preacher would be a series rather than a movie…. Btw, what the hell happened with that?

  11. Besides the birth of my daughter, this is the best news… EVER!!

  12. Including the birth of my daughter, this is the best news… EVER!!

  13. I love AMC.

  14. i say forget about the pilot.

    just go ahead and do 12 eps and start thinking about season 2.

  15. I’ve never read this comic but I would definitely heck out a series. What ever happened to the Fables show? Is ABC still interested in that?

  16. Excellent.

  17. this is indeed excellent news. That series is perfectly suited for a serialized tv show. I’m not really that familiar with AMC as a network though. I’ve watched both MadMen and Breaking Bad but what kind of censorship restrictions do they have to adhear to? correct if im wrong, but in the States your major networks (NBC, CBS…etc) follow stricter guidelines than cable networks right? Does this mean AMC has more freedom than the major networks ? what kind of restrictions will this put them under? I wonder if AMC will be able to tackle some of the more gruesome aspects of the Walking Dead series or if they will need to be cut. Those of you who read WD should know what "aspects" im referring to

  18. so awesome.

  19. Score another one for AMC.  Just wish it wasn’t a premium to get it in HD.  Very exciting.

  20. I just started reading this in trades. the 4th trade is on the way. could not be more excited

  21. @mikegaraham AMC used to be a premium cable channel, so it showed uncensored movies. They switched to advirtisement based model right around the time they started original programming, which why Breaking Bad was aired with censored dialogue. They are still less censored than the networks, but not as much as HBO/Showtime.

  22. I’ve never read Walking Dead, it is one of those books I keep meaning to pick up in trade.  I’m going to get the 1st issue when image releases those $1 comics and if I like it I may by a hardcover or the compedium.  I assume the pilot will be in color. I bet it would be awesome in black and white like the comic. It would remind me of the zombie movies of old.

  23. This is great news! Now we need HBO to pick up Scalped and all will be well with the world.

  24. Great!  I’ve always wanted to hear what the zombies’ dialogue actually sounds like.  "Gak…uuhgh"

  25. I hope most of the casting are b-level actors/actresses.  Many times I’ve been pleasantly surprised by lesser known individuals.

  26. @JesTr – If the first issue doesn’t blow you away, try getting your hands on the first trade. Once the ball gets rolling on that series it…is…amazing.

  27. It would cool for me and my brother to watch it if we had amc. Goddamn internet getting my hopes up!

  28. AMC is an amazingly high quality channel for original TV shows, I would love to see a Walking Dead series on it. 

  29. I can’t wait for this to happen. AMC has a great track record and The Walking Dead is the type of story that can do well even if it is constrained by a lower budget on a cable network.

     @mikegraham6 – Like muddi900 said, AMC can get away with more than broadcast stations such as CBS and NBC. They will probably be able to show a good amount of zombie violence but any sex/nudity scenes will be strictly censored because some Americans consider parts of the human body to be "evil".

  30. Looking forward to this. Should do a two hour movie as a pilot and then if that does well pick it up and go on. I would hate for the pilot to be made and then shelved somewhere. Would make me cry.

  31. How about Thomas Jane as Rick?

  32. @IRONMAN63: He’s already got a show.

  33. And Terry Crews(from Everybody Hates Chris) as Tyreese?

  34. And John Cho(from Harold and Kumar) as Glenn?

  35. Hung? C’mon

  36. Jane would be good.

  37. Katee Sackhoff as Andrea.

  38. @ all the non-readers

    I just finished volume 11 (my lcs has been sold, I ordered it on amazon, 2 week backorder, finally found a copy at barnes and noble, bought it and read it in one sitting. I can say with complete confidence this is the best comic book out, period. You can’t account for personal taste but honestly i can’t imagine anyone that reads this not having it in at least the top 5, plus I got the compendium 1 for like 30 bucks? (my lcs gives subscribers a 25% discount on everything!)

  39. @conor:  How is that show? I only caught the first episode and I don’t have Showtime anymore.

    @IRONMAN63: Started watching BSG recently and I’m on season 2. Loving Katte Sackhoff right now.

  40. @JesTr: HUNG? I’ve never seen it. (Also, it’s on HBO.)

  41. I am not too familiar how the US TV works, but this is a huge step, right?

  42. @Bendix: Well, it’s a step. They’ve been given the go ahead to produce the pilot. And once they produce the pilot the people at the network who make such decisions will watch it and decide on whether or not they want to order more episodes. So, yes, it’s a good step, but we are far from a series guarentee at this point.

  43. Sweet! Great news… hopefully. If the series doesn’t get picked up hopefully Kirkman can score iFanboy a copy of the pilot.