The Walking Dead is heading to Washington D.C. for Season 5 to find a cure for the zombie apocalypse. That was made very clear by an intense 5-minute sneak peek that Comic-Con fans saw today in the massive Hall H (see it below). “This is a season that is going to be pretty close to the comics,” said Robert Kirkman. The comic co-creator and series executive producer’s point was emphasized by fellow EP Gale Anne Hurd, who hinted before the video was shown at some suburban locations, and “you’ll see us take some big leaps with the characters and the set pieces.” AMC announced the new season debuts October 12 at 9 PM.
Before the Season 5 video was shown the panel started off with a fake sitcom-like clip from Episode 15 of the upcoming season that showed an aged Rick Grimes and the other characters with long long beards playing cards in the train car they were trapped in at the end of Season 4. “Sort of like Cheers at Terminus,” joked showrunner Scott Gimple.
In a repeat of the past SDCC appearances in the huge Hall H, Kirman, Hurd and Gimple were joined on the panel by cast members Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Chad Coleman and Michael Cudlitz. Special Effects Make-up Supervisor and producer Greg Nicotero and EP David Alpert were also onstage.
As in past years, most of the panel today was filled with fan questions including Comic-Con fave Button Lady, who chastised moderator Chris Hardwick for not coming through on his promise to get her a panel of her own. “This is your panel!,” the Taking Dead host replied. Another fan who got big laughs and love from the producers, cast and thousands in the hall from a man dress in full zombie/walker gear who talked about how he was recently bitten and asked “what are you doing to raise awareness?”
Walking Dead’s Season 4 premiere last October 13 last year hit an all-time high for the series with staggering series and cable viewership records of 16.1 million viewers, 10.4 million adults 18-49. In a season that saw the AMC show beat the usually unbeatable NFL a couple of times, the March 30 finale drew 15.7 million viewers and 10.2 million in the key demo for a season-ender record.