AMC Skips Pilot, Goes Right To Series With WALKING DEAD

Daily Variety is reporting Walking Deadthat AMC loved writer/director Frank Darabont's pitch for the first six episodes of Walking Dead so much that they skipped the pilot phase and have gone ahead and ordered those six episodes be produced. Robert Kirkman will serve as an Executive Producer on the show (although that can mean many things).

Over the weekend we had our first bit of casting news: Jon Berthnal has reportedly been cast as Shane, Rick's best friend at the start of the story.

Everything about this so far has been great news. AMC is the home of the two best dramatic shows on television: Mad Men and Breaking Bad. They don't jump into production lightly, instead they seem to seek out high quality projects. You add in Frank Darabont and this could get very exciting very quickly.

Walking Dead is set to debut in October on AMC.


  1.  nice

  2. Wow. I’m looking forward to October. Great news for Robert Kirkman.

  3. This is awesome news. I trust Darabont and AMC with handling the transition from comic to TV.

  4. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  5. The actor from the show Eli Stone was cast as Rick.  I really enjoyed that show and his acting on it, but as Rick…I don’t know, I don’t really see it.

  6. kick-ass

  7. Sweet.

  8. wow, I’m SUPER fricking pumped for this.

  9. fan-frickin-tastic

  10. @cromulent: Rick hasn’t been cast yet. Some website claims that Johnny Lee Miller is the leading candidate to play Rick. Whether that’s true or not is anyone’s guess. If Rick had already been cast, it would have been included in the Daily Variety story.

  11. Josh Holloway as Rick would be good and I’m pretty sure he is available since Lost is done. Just cut his hair a bit.

  12. @NawidA Josh Holloway is a GREAT call. That would be AWESOME!

  13. @conor Damn you Wikipedia! Damn you to hell!

  14. Very excited for this show… and that we only have to wait until October

  15. I had read a rumor somewhere that Jamie Bamber (from BSG, Apollo) was getting the Rick gig.  Sawyer would be a great choice for the guy taking them to Washington DC, I forget the characters name.

  16. YES!!! A few years ago I would say FX was the home for this show but AMC has proven itself to be a place that really takes chances with it’s programming.

  17. Very excited for this. Gonna have to get cable now so I can watch it.

  18. This is wonderful news! Can’t wait.  While we all want the actor who plays Rick to look like the comics, I think Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights could be a really good zombie killer leader.

  19. So now I don’t have to catch up on the comics? SWEET!!

    If this is as good as Breaking Bad, this may end up being the greatest comics adaptation of all time.

  20. Can’t wait. One of the best series ever. 

  21. Awesome!

  22. AMC + Darabont definitely has me excited. 

  23. Never got past volume four but zombies on the boobtube are always more fun than on paper.

  24. Wow.  This is really cool news.  So, AMC vs HBO, the stakes continue to be raised.  Which one is the cooler network?  I can’t wait to start hearing you guys talk about Treme. 

  25. I’ve read stuff claiming that Jon Bernthal, who is going to play Shane, is going to be the series central protagonist. Anyone know if this is factual or just web sites getting info wrong? Would be quite different if the show didn’t go with Rick as the lead. Not saying it would be bad necessarily. Just different.

  26. Woooo awesome news. Congrats to Kirkman!

  27. awesome

  28. I don’t read the comic (not because I think its bad per say but because I really can’t stand Zombie stories. I know there is more to the book than that but still…) but find myself excited cause of my love of Kirkman. Premiering it in October as part of their annual Fearfest event is also an inspired decision.

  29. great news, AMC is really picking up some great stuff as of late…

  30. Sounds great

  31. i just got a zomboner

  32. ….hunghh….gak….

  33. Whoooohoooooooooooooooooooowheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyeeeeeeeeeahhuzzzzzzzzzzzzahwhooooooooooooooooyeahyeahyeahyeah!

    Uhm, I mean … "Oh, good. I look forward to seeing this."

  34. Groovy

  35. I need to get season 3 of Mad men this weekend

  36. I still need to see Breaking Bad. Goddamn OnDemand only has season 2.


  37. Yup. Amazing.

  38. I just started reading the first volume, i wonder how far the six episodes will get?

  39. characters welcome

  40. Hopefully I can get my friends to watch this, then I can move to Phase 2 of my plan to get them into comics.

  41. Best news I heard all day!

  42. Is it going to be black and white? I think amc is ballsy enough to do it.

  43. @OnASunday: I would seriously doubt it.

  44. That would be cool if it was black and white.  I’d imagine they could show more blood if it wasn’t in color.

  45. I just assumed it would be black and white.

  46. Hollywood executives think that the audience is less likely to watch something (be it a film or a television show) if it’s black and white and not color. I tend to give the audience more credit than that, but then we hear from a lot of people here at iFanboy who won’t read a black and white comic, so…

    I’m not saying it will definitely be in color, but I’ll be *shocked* if it’s not.

  47. I hope it starts in color and fades to black and white when rick wakes up. Anti-Wizard of Oz. Plus Kirkman wants the comic black and white and he’s executive producer. We’ll see.

  48. This can’t come quick enough! If I could set my DVR right now, I would……………………………….

  49. @conor: i have been guilty to select the colored free comics on freecomicbook day before I selected the black and whites.



    So excited for this one.  Now, if only we could get the fifth HC, I would be in nirvana.

  51. That’s good news. Should be a quality production.

  52. @Crippler – HBO hasn’t really been a contender for awhile now. Showtime is where it’s at. Weeds, Dexter, United States of Tara, Tracy Ullman, Tudors, Call Girl, and that new Nurse Jackie looks pretty good. All HBO really has is Entourage and True Blood as far as I know.

  53. Regarding the black & white versus color, if you’ve seen the black and white version of The Mist, you know what Darabont is really capable of in that style. I think this would definitely be better, it’s just a matter of wether or not the network/studio/whatever is willing to risk people shutting it off right away because of that.

  54. I can’t wait for this!

  55. Dashed exciting news. The black and white would be a nice touch, but I don’t see them doing it.

  56. Also, KNB are going to be handling on the crazy zombie make’em-ups! 

  57. Ok AT&T… are on notice.  AMC HAS to be available by October.

  58. Frank Darabont elaborated a bit on the situation for Aint It Cool News:

    AMC is going into it as they did with "Breaking Bad" (which, on a personal note, gets my passionate vote as being the best series on television right now, hands-down): those familiar with "Breaking Bad" may have noticed it was actually a "half season" approach consisting of 7 episodes. When that first season proved successful, AMC then transitioned to the standard 13 episodes per year as of season two.

    Same idea here. If WD finds its audience, following seasons will continue with the standard 13 episodes.

    It’s a very smart approach on AMC’s part, in addition to being a tremendous show of their faith: as with "Breaking Bad," instead of giving us just a single pilot episode to prove ourselves, AMC has gone out on a limb and greenlit half a season to kick things off and give our show a chance to bring the audience in. Gale Anne Hurd and I are very grateful to them for that.

  59. I bet it finds its audience very quickly and gets tons of fans.  Who doesn’t like zombies, not that that’s  what it’s totally about.  If it can be directed at least decently, it should run as long as it likes. Breaking Bad & Mad Men are still templates for good TV goodness 🙂  I don’t mind it being in color, truthfully that’s the best bet for a viewing public.  I don’t know how they’ll handle some of the violence, but I don’t mind it being turned down a notch or having it off screen just to get the show made (of course, I’d like to see a little bit of gore though like Romero).

  60. I picked up the Walking Dead compendium (48 issues for $33! Wotta deal!) and am only 9 issues into it and I’m really diggin’ it! Kirkman really puts his characters through the wringer!

    I seem to remember that the only reason the 1st season of "Breaking Bad" was 7 episodes was because of the writer’s strike. But the writer’s strike ended up working out for the show as they were able to craft a really great 7 episodes and set up and even better 2nd season! Third season just started and two episodes into it, it’s a must-watch show.

    And I hope it doesn’t turn anything like the "Prisoner" miniseries, that crap sleep-inducing.

  61. Darabont made an black and white version of The Mist (2007) available on DVD and Blu-Ray.  It looks great.  Perhaps WD will be available in colour and B&W as well.