Looking for ways to capitalize on the huge success of "The Walking Dead," AMC announced today that the network is in the initial stages of developing a companion series to the zombie hit.
Robert Kirkman, creator of the comic books that inspired the TV show, is on board as an executive producer. So are Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert. The yet-to-be-named companion series has a target on-air date of 2015.
"Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer," said Charlie Collier, AMC's president and general manager, said in a statement. "We look forward to working with Robert, Gale and Dave again as we develop an entirely new story and cast of characters. It's a big world and we can't wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse."
In the same media release, Kirkman said, "After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth, and in my opinion, best season of the TV series, I couldn't be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of 'The Walking Dead' universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn't tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing."
The companion series will tell a new story and feature a new cast of characters and again will be based on the long-running comics series distributed by Berkeley's Image Comics.
So what do you think, "Walking Dead" fans? Does the idea of a companion series excite you? Or do you believe it might possibly dilute the impact of the flagship show? And is there any concern here that AMC, which once prided itself on strong original programming, is starting to fall back on safe derivative fare? (The network recently announced a "Breaking Bad" spin-off).
Season 4 of "The Walking Dead" kicks off on Oct. 13.