AMC today announced that it has placed an initial, two-season order for a companion series to The Walking Dead, the massive hit series based on Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard's Image Comics/Skybound comic book series of the same name.
Spinning out of the show that's been the top-rated scripted series on TV for three years running, the still-untitled new series will be set in Los Angeles and focused on new characters and storylines. The show's first season will consist of six one-hour episodes and premiere on AMC in late summer. The show's second season will air in 2016.
The first season of The Walking Dead was six episodes, and it then expanded to thirteen episodes the next year.
"We take incredibly seriously the notion of building a satisfying companion series to the number one show on television. From the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, we've been asked questions about what was going on in other parts of the zombie apocalypse, and what it looked like as the world really did 'turn.' Through this new series, we're going to find out," said Charlie Collier, AMC president. "Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson and their writing team, along with an incomparable set of producers, cast and crew have created something remarkable and clearly distinct. We respectfully follow the request of Monty Python as we bring out (the latest of) our Dead."
"We feel empowered by this two-season commitment, a serious show of faith from our network partner AMC," Kirkman said. "I personally take it as a sign that they believe, like we do, that we've accomplished our goal of developing something original that can pay tribute to the original show and expand the world I created while at the same time having something new to say with this story. I'm very grateful that we now have the opportunity to tell this amazing story and show the fans that we really haven't scratched the surface yet when it comes to The Walking Dead."
"This vote of confidence from our partners at AMC is gratifying, to say the least," Erickson said. "We've been blessed with amazing writers and a stellar cast - and we can't wait to build this apocalyptic drama over the next two seasons and hopefully beyond."
Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert from The Walking Dead are executive producers of the new series, which, like the original, is being produced by AMC Studios. Dave Erickson (Marco Polo, Sons of Anarchy), who co-created and co-wrote the pilot with Kirkman, is an executive producer and showrunner. The series will star Cliff Curtis (Missing, Gang Related), Kim Dickens (Gone Girl, Sons of Anarchy), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince) and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Storm).
In addition, AMC Global, the international AMC-branded television network, announced it has acquired the international television rights to the series, which it plans to air within 24 hours of the U.S. premiere. AMC Global launched in late 2014 and is available in over 115 countries and territories throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.