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Darabont Tells AICN:
AMC's Zombie Thriller
THE WALKING DEAD
Is No Miniseries!!

I am – Hercules!! Yesterday I identified “The Walking Dead” as “a six-hour project” big-screen writer-director Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redemption," "The Green Mile" and "The Mist") was overseeing for AMC. If that made you think “miniseries,” you were thinking wrong! AMC has indeed ordered six hours of the series, but Darabont wrote in to make certain we understood those six hours do not a miniseries make!
Hi Herc, Just to clarify the announcement: It's not a 6-episode miniseries. It's intended as a regular ongoing series. 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. Hope that helps dispell any confusion. Best, Frank
It does, and we thank! Those first six hours are slated for October. So watch and AMC and Frank Darabont will give you a bigger season next year!
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Readers Talkback
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  • March 30, 2010, 8:01 p.m. CST

    This could be good

    by optimus122

    And first?

  • March 30, 2010, 8:21 p.m. CST

    publically ass kissing your network executives

    by punto

    also helps to get a full season order

  • March 30, 2010, 8:23 p.m. CST

    "Gale Anne Hurd and I"

    by Toonol

    Did Darabont just namedrop? Anyway, this looks interesting.

  • March 30, 2010, 8:23 p.m. CST

    You say that like it's a bad thing

    by ROBRAM89

    I'd rather have more good shit on TV than a rant slamming the people he works for.

  • March 30, 2010, 8:27 p.m. CST

    Mr. Darabont:

    by Vespalad

    Hows about some fresh Stephen King news? Still planning on making The Long Walk??? (God I hope so!) If so, when? Now that JJ Abrams isn't doing The Dark Tower, is that something you would like to take a stab at? Any interest in helping to adapt the Talisman? Come on, throw us King fans a bone here!!

  • March 30, 2010, 8:36 p.m. CST

    Herc, just wanted to clarify my name is wickedjacob

    by WickedJacob

    No one was actually confused or cared, but writing this "clarification" makes more people notice my existence.

  • March 30, 2010, 8:36 p.m. CST

    I wonder if Darbount has seen Jackson's Dead Alive

    by buffywrestling

  • March 30, 2010, 8:36 p.m. CST

    The source material

    by mercuryx23

    The authors always intended this to be ongoing, so the fact that this is designed as a series is a good thing. It is a very compelling read, incredibly dark and violent. I hope they can stay true to the source. I'll set the DVR for this one.

  • March 30, 2010, 8:39 p.m. CST

    What?

    by Junior Frenger

  • March 30, 2010, 8:41 p.m. CST

    What? Part II: The Actual Comment

    by Junior Frenger

    Breaking Bad was 7 episodes because of the writers strike. Not that I'm not looking forward to a weekly zombie series, but it seems Mr. Darabont is making up shit for no good reason.

  • March 30, 2010, 8:59 p.m. CST

    I love the Book

    by WALKNDED

    Just hope they can do it justice.

  • March 30, 2010, 9:02 p.m. CST

    IT WAS CUZ OF THE WRITERS STRIKE!

    by maxin n relaxin

    agreed junior frenger. breaking bad didnt get a half season order, just another victim of the writers strike. practically every show had half or 3 quarters of a season.

  • March 30, 2010, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Rock out wit'cher cock out!

    by fiester

    This is cool news indeed.

  • March 30, 2010, 9:12 p.m. CST

    You're both half right

    by mascan42

    Breaking Bad was cut indeed short by the writer's strike, but it was originally supposed to be only 9 episodes, not 13.

  • March 30, 2010, 9:13 p.m. CST

    Need an edit function

    by mascan42

    "cut indeed short" = "indeed cut short"

  • March 30, 2010, 9:17 p.m. CST

    Ahhhh...October. Good Move!

    by Jobacca

    I've always thought that Oct. was a good month for Horror/Sc-Fi/Fantasy releases...sadly the studios didnt agree until SAW came along. I honestly think that THE WOLFMAN would have made better money had it come out around Halloween.

  • March 30, 2010, 9:26 p.m. CST

    Hmmmm....

    by Arcangel2020

    Well this certainly SOUNDS like so good news for those of us who are tried and true Zombie fans...fans, that is of qualiy Zombie Movies and well written stories/novels. I have been a HUGE fan of all things Zombie ever since watching Mr. Romeo's classic "Night of the Living Dead" as a kid on the local Late Night Horror show in the SF Bay Area and I am still a fan of the Original Trilogy as well as "Zombie", "Return of The Living Dead"; "Shaun of the Dead" and the remake of "Dawn". I really enjoyed the Novel "World War Z", "Wet Works and think that Author Brian Keene (who has written "The Rising", "City of the Dead" and "Dead") has done an awesome job with the genre too. I have read some of the "Walking Dead" graphic Novels and if Mr. Darabont can successfully bring the story/storyline to basic Cable and the AMC Network as well as build on it? Then, it looks like we the fans of the zombie-apocolypse are in for a treat. So, I am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best!

  • March 30, 2010, 9:32 p.m. CST

    what's this 13 episode trend?

    by Bouncy X

    so many shows seem to be doing it lately, granted its all cable shows but a lot of kids shows have been doing it for a few years. i guess it wouldnt be so bad if they didnt then sell the dvd releases for the same price as a 22-25 season show.

  • March 30, 2010, 9:43 p.m. CST

    Why is AMC leading the charge with quality content?

    by SoylentMean

    It's weird to me that the channel that's responsible for me finding (and loving) the Marx brothers is somehow trailblazing quality new programming for television. <P> Not that I'm knocking it. It's just weird.

  • March 30, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST

    cooool

    by BEYONDTHUNDERDOME2GIRLS1CUPBILLCOSBY

  • March 30, 2010, 10:15 p.m. CST

    But Mr. Darabont

    by Box_Bruceleitner

    Will it be in B&W? And to you other TB'ers clearly not familiar with The Walking Dead, YES, B&W IS important.

  • March 30, 2010, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Wasn't Breaking Bad made during the strike?

    by Bullet_time_Facehugger

    and therefore, thats why it was only 7 episodes instead of an standard 12-13 episode season?

  • March 30, 2010, 10:23 p.m. CST

    and some people covered this already...

    by Bullet_time_Facehugger

    ...so nevermind.

  • March 30, 2010, 10:25 p.m. CST

    AMC knows great TV

    by stewarco

    Breaking Bad, Mad Men... and some not so great (Prisoner miniseries anyone?). I'm with Arcangel... I watch whatever I can with Zombies in it... Grew up in western PA and the Monroeville mall (where the original Dawn was shot) was my local hangout. Just finished rereading World War Z again (a great novel)... am currently reading a self-published zombie novel (Eden). I have kept up with The Walking Dead with the comics and regularly search out info about the upcoming show... bloody-disgusting has some news about casting Rick Grimes (Jonny Lee Miller is the front runner)... can't wait for this series! Now they really need to get started on an epic World War Z movie.

  • March 30, 2010, 10:33 p.m. CST

    Ask him if it's in B&W

    by aversiontherapy2

    'Cause it had better be.

  • March 30, 2010, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Looking forward to it.

    by veritasses

  • March 30, 2010, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Zombie Don Draper!!!!

    by br1947

    A chain smoking, scotch downing, womanizing Zombie leaves a trail of destruction and necrophilia in his quest to find himself!

  • March 30, 2010, 11:50 p.m. CST

    Herc, just wanted to clarify my name is gotilk

    by gotilk

    I mean, I'm no wickedjacob, but I hope this clears up any confusion on the part of you or any of the thousands that will skim past my post exactly as they did (minus 1, being me) wickedjacob's.

  • March 31, 2010, 12:12 a.m. CST

    well frank, you will have my viewership

    by brechtsky

    love your work ,and zombies, so its a no brainer, pun intended!

  • March 31, 2010, 12:20 a.m. CST

    and my axe!

    by V'Shael

  • March 31, 2010, 12:47 a.m. CST

    Hi Frank,

    by Xiphos_2

  • March 31, 2010, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Hi Frank, pt2

    by Xiphos_2

    Breaking Bad is NOT the best show on TV right. You made a mistake but I you were puckering up to your new Jefes asses and so it's not surprising you made that big of a mistake.

  • March 31, 2010, 12:51 a.m. CST

    Love Brian Keene

    by magic_ninja

    At least he had the sense not to drag out the whole "humans are worse than the zombies" cliche that The Walking Dead has done for the past couple of arcs. OB RULES!

  • March 31, 2010, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Ugh AMC= PG-13ish

    by ndally

    And I likes my Darabont "R". Although breaking bad is pretty badass and has had some gory moments I guess they just cut out the swearing. I think Darabont is guna own this and bring some respect back into the zombie realm. The Mist is fucking brilliant(works like a twlight zone episode which is hard to pull off properly..especially if you watch it in B&W it's glorious) so I hope he is the show runner for this show. Anyone know if that's the case or is he just writing/directing the pilot ala Scorcese with "Boardwalk Empire". Please be the show runner. And comon AMC grow some balls and allow some swearing you pussys. In Canada this would never be aloud for a cable channel 90% of your cable channels are uncensored. OH and why Did Breaking Bad have swear words bleeped out in the pilot anyone know? It was like they made the pilot for HBO and decided late in the game to bring it over to AMC. Some one please answer my questions that are scattered through out this post.

  • March 31, 2010, 1:47 a.m. CST

    Correction

    by ndally

    Our not your* when reffering to the % amount of uncensored cable channels in Canada. Oh and I spelt Scorsese wrong. A thousand apologies sir

  • March 31, 2010, 3:46 a.m. CST

    I still don't see how this works on AMC...

    by Stegman84

    If this had been on Showtime or HBO or Starz I'd be genuinely excited, even more so with darabont on board, but I just can't see how they can possibly make this work on AMC. AMC is basic cable, only a very slight notch above traditional network tv, and they have a code of practise that says that no high level or excessive low level course language, no excessive violence or gore, and no nudity is allowed to be shown in their programming. In fact AMC's own website goes out of it's way to state: <br><br><i>Like most advertiser-supported networks, AMC edits programming for certain "objectionable" content, including nudity and offensive language. As a national network available on basic cable, AMC adheres to standards that will be acceptable to the majority of our viewers, our sponsors and our cable and satellite affiliates. Whenever possible, the movie studios provide us with TV-ready versions of their movies designed to be acceptable to most TV networks.<i><br><br> So how do you make a show based on The Walking Dead with those kind of limitations in place, and still be true to the source material? Especially considering how frequently dark and twisted the book can get... <p> I mean Mad Men is a quality show, and I love Breaking Bad, but due to the restrictions of the channel I just can't see this being anything more than The Walking Dead Lite. And that, right there, would be a massive disappointment any way you cut it. I just can't see how they can create something that is worthy of The Walking Dead under those kind of constraints. Hopefully I'm wrong, but right now my excitement level is definitely tempered because of it...

  • March 31, 2010, 3:55 a.m. CST

    Dear Frank,

    by Bodacious_Crumb

    Thank you for adapting The Walking Dead for AMC but please, please, please make The Long Walk your next big-screen adaptation.

  • March 31, 2010, 5:59 a.m. CST

    AMC could air the "TV" friendly version and advertise that

    by V'Shael

    you can buy the R-rated show on iTunes, or when it's eventually released on DVD.<br /><br />I think the viewers would like that. A network that basically says "We're obliged to clean this for broadcast. But if you want it uncut, we'll sell it to you."

  • March 31, 2010, 6:09 a.m. CST

    V'Shael -- cable likes the lowered expectations, keeps costs dow

    by WickedJacob

    Gory costs money.

  • March 31, 2010, 7:11 a.m. CST

    Gory could be cheap in Black & White

    by V'Shael

    as has been said before. (Yeah, I know, it's a tired argument at this stage, and neither side will be convinced)<br /><br />But seriously, look at last weeks Supernatural. The blood and gore in that was about on a par with the ridiculous blood shots from Spartacus. (That is, they were clearly and badly CGI'd)<br /><br />I don't doubt that if they were done in black and white, you could get more realistic gore.

  • March 31, 2010, 9:35 a.m. CST

    Even the mighty Hercules answers to Zeus.

    by cookylamoo

    Let loose the Zombies.

  • March 31, 2010, 10:12 a.m. CST

    AMC is the new HBO

    by idrinkyourmilkshake

    I gotta say, AMC and FX is the shit!Mad Men is great.And Breaking Bad is the GREATEST television show ever.It's so SATISFYING on so many levels.And FX has Justified, which is pretty decent(MY ONLY complaint is it seems not to have any plot running underneath it...just an exploratory look at knucklehead criminals)

  • March 31, 2010, 3:35 p.m. CST

    No! No! Make "The Majestic II" next!

    by tonagan

  • March 31, 2010, 4:03 p.m. CST

    No ending = just a soap opera

    by spud mcspud

    They need to have some sort of endgame in sight, right? Otherwise, this just becomes a long running soap opera with occasional shocking major-character-dies situations to occasionally wake the audience up.<P> I love Darabont, I really do... but this could easily become as boring as the GN. Give us an ending sometime! Remember how LOST got out of its slump when there was an endgame to play for??<P> Still looking forward to this, though. Any zombie series is better than NO zombie series - though I'd have preferred a ZOMBIELAND TV series :D

  • March 31, 2010, 4:07 p.m. CST

    Would LOVE to see THE TALISMAN as a movie...

    by spud mcspud

    Or a mini-series. To hell with the sequels, though. THE TALISMAN would rock as a four-parter, THE STAND-style.<P> Anybody else see that trailer for a TALISMAN movie some fan did? Amazing stuff...<P> THE LONG WALK would also be stupendous, and after the awesome job he did on THE MIST, Darabont is very welcome to go do more King in my book. THE TALISMAN! PLEEEEEEEEASE!!!

  • March 31, 2010, 6:29 p.m. CST

    mascan42: Sign the edit button petition.

    by Royston Lodge

    www.tinyurl.com/editbttn

  • March 31, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    br1947: Oh man, I want Zombie Mad Men now!

    by Royston Lodge

    Even if Matthew Weiner just makes a short spoof and posts it on YouTube, I really really REALLY want to see Madison Avenue in 1964 succumb to the zombie apocalypse.

  • March 31, 2010, 9:31 p.m. CST

    intenet petition? what is this 1999?

    by WickedJacob

    Royston, has an internet petition ever succeeded at doing anything? ANY SINGLE THING?

  • March 31, 2010, 11:10 p.m. CST

    "What's this 13 episode trend?"

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    I actually think Lost became a better show when A.) it got a definitive end date around the mid-point of season 3, and B.) it switched to shorter seasons beginning in season 4 (14-17 episodes, as opposed to 22-14). I'd rather have 13 episodes all shown back-to-back than 24 spread across eight months with HUGE gaps between fresh episodes. More network TV would be better if it took a hint from cable TV. Fewer episodes, but better quality. Longer gaps in-between seasons to allow the creators to recharge their batteries and plan out the next season more efficiently.

  • March 31, 2010, 11:12 p.m. CST

    This actually should be a miniseries...[comic spoilers]

    by AnotherBoredDude

    ...and the comic should have ended long ago. As someone who is a nerd for everything zombie apocalypse, I was very excited about this comic when it came out. I thought the first few trades were solid tales of survivors scavenging for a safe life in a wasted world. There weren't any characters that ever felt 100% safe, and it's edge kept the reader enthralled. But this comic kind of went South as soon as they reached the jail. Once they got all the zombies and assholes out, shit got boring. All they had to focus on was an unexpected pregnancy, infidelity, teen love, and father/son fights. Maybe I'm being too opinionated, but for me this stuff felt real out of place and totally killed the story's momentum. And I found whole bit with the other town and psycho mayor (sorry, its been a while since I read) just plain desperate for action/suspense. I always thought for an ongoing Zombie comic to stay fresh and keep its edge, they should conclude character arcs and pick up new ones set in the same universe. While I am very psyched that AMC is taking The Walking Dead on, I fear that the story will eventually weaken. Your thoughts?

  • April 1, 2010, 2:56 a.m. CST

    @AnotherBoredDude : Very valid point.

    by V'Shael

    The Walking Dead (like a lot of Zombie scenarios) suffers from a fatal flaw which writers seem unwilling or unable to address.<br /><br />The Zombies are a slow moving viral plague. With plague-based end of the world scenarios, there's only 3 ways it can turn out. 1) We find a cure, and survive. 2) We get wiped out. 3) Civilisation is reduced to "survivors" and the virus dies off. Now, civilisation must rebuild.<br /><br />Walking Dead survived by skirting around the issue of which of the 3 stories it was. But given that, in world, it seems like the Zombies are rotting away and becoming less of a threat, it looks like the storyline is moving into a type 3. And that's no longer a Zombie story. Time to end it, or do something unusual with it.<br /><br />There's a reason The Stand didn't spend all its time showing us how the survivors rebuilt society. That sort of thing can be a PART of the story, but it's not the whole story, nor should it be.