Skybound's decision to bring their content to Amazon for series adaptations was a decision influenced by a long-standing relationship through The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead executive producer and CEO of Skybound David Alpert opened up about his and Robert Kirkman's decision to bring the publishing company's content to Amazong while talking to Variety. “The ability to connect digitally with our fans to find out what they want and serve them content from great creators, media agnostic — it’s not a little idea, it’s a huge idea. I think there's a huge opportunity there.” Alpert said. “We could be the media company for the new millennium.”
As it turns out, there was one person who bridged Amazon and Skybound's deal. "The person who brought us in is a gal named Sharon Tal," Alpert said. "We've worked with Sharon for the last eight years. She used to run Fox International. Fox does all the international distribution on The Walking Dead. Their participation was the stroke that allowed AMC to move forward because they had never been a studio before. They were able to offload a lot of their risk to Fox International."
Tal's influence in helping The Walking Dead move forward paid off, as well. "We're gonna be in 160 countries within seven days," Alpert said -- a fact made possible by Tal's efforts. "So, episode airs on AMC here Sunday night and then within seven days we're live in 160 countries...Working with her, she saw that through, saw the changes coming, and helped power The Walking Dead to be the global phenomenon that it is."
Alpert and Kirkman would also work with Tal to bring Outcast to life before she would end up at Amazon. "Up until that point, Amazon had really been doing Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, great programming but maybe more prestigey and art oriented than broadly genre driven," Alpert said. "When they brought in Sharon, they said, 'We wanna make the next Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead...'"
"It's not just the fact that Amazon is one of the dominant companies on the planet, although it doesn't hurt, but it's really that coupled with the fact that there's a trusted partner there for us."
Alpert and Kirkman's The Walking Dead TV series returns for the second half of its eighth season on February 25, 2018 on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.