AMC said Thursday it will produce live original programming with fans able interact via Twitch, which started as a gaming platform but has expanded into all kinds of live streaming content with a strong social media component. TWDUniverse will start with around 12 hours of original content a week.
“As the storytelling and characters that span The Walking Dead Universe continue to grow, so do the innovative ways we reach and engage with fans – both old and new – across social media and popular new platforms like Twitch,” said David Beck, AMC Networks’ head of programming strategy and business operations. “Sunday nights on Twitch are audience-first and fan-centric, and we are thrilled at this opportunity to build something new for passionate fans of The Walking Dead Universe.”
Content created exclusively for Twitch will start streaming Sunday, Sept. 20 with a live show, a ‘Watchalong’ during episode premieres and an ongoing conversation through midnight.
“The Walking Dead has built one of the most passionate and engaged audiences on television, and we’re thrilled to partner with AMC Networks to develop new ways for fans to experience this pop-culture phenomenon,” said Michael Aragon, SVP of Content at Twitch. “Today, television audiences want more from their viewing experience beyond the traditional 50-minute episode, and we’re excited to partner with brands and networks in the future to expand this audience connection.”
Twitch launched in 2011 and was acquired by Amazon in 2014. Initially focused on multiplayer entertainment and esports it’s expanded to genres from anime marathons to music, art and entertainment streams.
AMC said it partnered with Hyper RPG, a media company that specializes in livestreaming, to oversee technical production, creative assets, and next-level interactivity for the TWDUniverse Twitch channel.
TWDUniverse channel lineup:
Launch Party: Sunday, September 20
For its first stream, TWDUniverse will kick off with a Launch Party featuring hosts/fans Clarke, Ronnetta and Dylan as they welcome fans into the TWDUniverse community to learn, play and discuss among the most authoritative voices on the franchise, as well as kick off a season 10 interactive marathon of The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead Catch Up: Sunday, September 20
The hosts will lead fans through select episodes of The Walking Dead season 10 and Fear The Walking Dead season 5, with real-time reactions as they watch and interact with the community, leading up to the much-anticipated premiere of episode 1016 on October 4.
Re-Watching Dead: Thursday, September 24
A weekly deep dive discussion show focusing on spoiler-filled exploration into past episodes of The Walking Dead — exploring both on-screen and behind-the-scenes stories. Fans will get to re-live the first time they saw the show through interactive discussion of the story and dig deeper behind the scenes via interviews, behind-the-scenes moments, and interactive segments and games where they are part of the show.
World Beyond Celebration (name pending): Sunday, September 27
A variety show celebration of World Beyond composed of quick segments diving into cast interviews, BTS discussion, or fun and games with the audience. Framed around the idea of “youth,” many of the stitching comes from exploring what younger versions of Walking Dead characters would be like. Plus, it gives us a chance to get to know our hosts and guests better as they share stories from their high school years, as well.
TWD Sundays: Sunday, October 4 with four hours of continuous streaming content each week:
7:30pm – Recapping Dead Pre-Show – Hosts dive into recaps of the previous week’s episode, explore theories and give their best predictions and speculations before the new episode premieres on television.
9:00pm — Live Watch Party – During the episode, TWDUniverse will keep streaming on Twitch to create a live second screen experience for new episodes in The Walking Dead Universe with behind-the-scenes info pop-ups, interactions from the community and live host reactions.
11:00pm — After Show – Following the premiere of Talking Dead, fans can continue the discussion in a more informal, interactive space on Twitch, taking a deeper dive into the new episodes.