What’s a Talking Dead fan to do when AMC’s two zombie-apocalypse shows go dark for the season? Fear not – the cable net said today that it is launching Talking with Chris Hardwick, an extension series that will air at 11 pm Sundays when The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead are buried in hiatus.
Hardwick, of course, hosts AMC’s Talking Dead, which helped popularize the aftershow mini-genre. But while that program focuses solely on the two Walking Dead series, the new one will feature a wide-ranging guest list and shine its spotlight on the pop culture landscape. Produced by Embassy Row, Talking with Chris Hardwick premieres April 9, a week after the Season 7 finale of The Walking Dead.
“Talking will have the skin of Talking Dead, the soul of the Nerdist podcast and the guts of a Comic-Con panel,” Hardwick said. “I have loved learning how to do a talk show these last six years on Talking Dead but am eager to expand the format into other areas of pop culture.”
AMC said Talking with Chris Hardwick will leverage the host’s gift for deep conversation, on display in his podcast. The show also will have a strong social media presence and live audience interactivity, giving fans a new destination to celebrate their pop culture favorites. Aftershows have boomed since Talking Dead debuted in 2011. AMC also has postmortem series that follow its dramas Preacher and Better Call Saul — along with that series’ late predecessor, Breaking Bad — and other shows including HBO’s Game of Thrones, USA’s Mr. Robot also employ them, as did BBC America’s Orphan Black and such current series as CMT’s Nashville and ABC’s The Bachelor.
“Chris Hardwick is just the ultimate fan guide, advocate and conversationalist,” said Joel Stillerman, President of Original Programming and Development for AMC and SundanceTV. “He took our desire to serve the fans of The Walking Dead with an hour of discussion and analysis following each new episode and turned it into the No. 1 talk show on television, and a model that has been widely emulated but never quite duplicated, because Chris is the key.”
Hardwick, who also hosts Comedy Central’s @midnight, will serve as executive producer on the new series alongside Michael Davies, Brandon Monk, Jen Patton and Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Alex Murray.
Added Stillerman, “We are looking forward to expanding our relationship with Chris through this new version of Talking that will allow him to do what he does best – give our viewers a front-row seat to some of the biggest topics in pop culture today and a host who has an incomparable affinity for the content they love.”