Giving the new show a formal series order, the network said it will be run by Matt Negrete, who has been a writer and producer on The Walking Dead for the past five seasons. It is co-created by Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of The Walking Dead universe. Produced by AMC Studios, the spinoff will start production on 10 episodes this summer in Virginia and premiere on AMC in 2020.
The news came during the AMC Networks Summit in Manhattan, a showcase for the company’s programming during upfront season. AMC is also expanding its Christmas programming block and will simulcast BBC America’s emerging hit Killing Eve.
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The new spinoff will feature two young female protagonists and focus on what the network said in its official release is “the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it.” The hook, according to the description, will be to see who remains good and who turns evil.
“We’re thrilled that the Dead will keep walking into a new corner of the post-apocalyptic world, a corner that will present stories and characters unlike any that The Walking Dead has dramatized thus far, and that is bound to excite one of the most passionate fanbases in television,” said David Madden, president of programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “Scott has been an invaluable leader for the Universe since taking on the role of chief content officer, with a distinct and innovative vision for the franchise. Likewise, we’re excited to have Matt, who has been a crucial part of The Walking Dead family for over five years and penned many memorable episodes of TWD, at the helm of this original series.”
“On the heels of an incredible ninth season of The Walking Dead and as we approach an anticipated new season of Fear this summer, this is an exciting moment for the Dead franchise, which continues to thrive in a highly competitive environment,” said Sarah Barnett, president of the entertainment networks group for AMC Networks. “We are thankful to be working with some of the best creatives in the business to expand this Universe in new and exciting ways for our fans.”
A new TWD series comes as the mother-ship show has seen the departures of Andrew Lincoln and Lauren Cohan and series-low ratings. Additionally, as more crossovers are in the works with spinoff Fear the Walking Dead, Lincoln is set for a series of TWD movies. Black Panther star Danai Gurira has also limited her TWD presence in the show’s 10th season.
Despite its declines, executives note that the mother-ship series remains the No. 1 show on cable and the No. 2 drama on TV behind NBC’s This is Us.
“Showing audiences an unseen corner of The Walking Dead Universe steeped in a new mythology is a very cool way to celebrate a ‘Decade of the Dead’ on TV and over fifteen years of Robert Kirkman’s brilliant comic,” Gimple said. “Matt Negrete is one of the best writer-producers in TWD’s long history — I’m thrilled to be working beside him to tell stories unlike we’ve seen before, taking our first step into an even larger world.”
“I’m beyond excited to be a part of this new show set in The Walking Dead Universe,” said Negrete. “Writing and producing for the original series has been the job of a lifetime and I’m honored to be working with Scott and all the fine Dead folks at AMC in this new capacity. I can’t wait for the fans of the franchise to see what we’ve been cooking up!”
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