AMC Networks announced on Tuesday that it has officially greenlit a new AMC Studios-produced series spinning off of the decade-old franchise of The Walking Dead. The previously announced as in development Tales of the Walking Dead will be an episodic anthology series with one-hour standalone episodes focused on both new and established characters set in the world of thee original zombie drama, opening the door for familiar faces to return before or after their time on the show which fans have been following since 2010. The Walking Dead is adaptation of Robert Kirkman's Image & Skybound comic series, which published its first issue in 2003.
Channing Powell, who has been a writer and producer on The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, will serve as showrunner Tales of the Walking Dead. According to the network, Powell will be working closely with Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of the Walking Dead Universe. An initial season of six episodes is expected to go into production in early 2022 before premiering on AMC+ and AMC next summer.
"The Walking Dead is a show that made television history and attracted an army of passionate and highly engaged fans," said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. "We see so much potential for a wide range of rich and compelling storytelling in this world, and the episodic anthology format of Tales of the Walking Dead will give us the flexibility to entertain existing fans and also offer an entry point for new viewers, especially on streaming platforms. We have seen the appeal of this format in television classics like The Twilight Zone and, more recently, Black Mirror, and are excited to engage with fans in this new way, against the backdrop of this very unique and engrossing world."
Gimple, who served as showrunner on The Walking Dead before moving on to oversee the franchise as a whole, also weighed in. "This series, more than any other in the Walking Dead Universe, runs on new voices, perspectives, and ideas -- bringing to life stories unlike any we've told before," Gimple said. "I'm thrilled to be Channing's consigliere, helping in every way I can to make those new visions real for the best fans in TV."
Powell is credited for writing 17 episodes of The Walking Dead starting in its fourth season and has since also penned two episodes of Fear the Walking Dead. "I started as a fan of The Walking Dead and have ended up as a showrunner of what will hopefully be one of its most unique spin-offs," Powell said. "That's nuts and I'm so grateful to AMC and Scott for supporting me and my writers while we pushed, pulled and poked at the boundaries of this universe to bring you something new and unexpected, while hopefully still tending to what core audiences loved so much about the flagship show."
The Walking Dead recently concluded running the first of three parts for its eleventh and final season. Fear the Walking Dead begins airing its seventh season on October 17. The Walking Dead: World Beyond is currently airing new episodes of its second and final season on Sunday nights.