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'The Walking Dead' spinoff gets show runner, might air earlier than expected

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AMC announced a companion series to its widely popular “The Walking Dead” last September and now the network has taken a big step in making that series a reality. Hollywood Life reported on Friday that AMC has added Dave Erickson as the untitled spinoff’s show runner. Erickson’s credits include “Sons of Anarchy” and “Low Winter Sun.”

Erickson will also co-write the series along with Robert Kirkman, who created the graphic novels upon which “The Walking Dead” and the new show are based.

Originally, the new series was supposed to air in 2015, but Uproxx reported on Friday that the show might debut sooner than that.

What’s for certain is that the new show will include a cast of all-new characters that are dealing with the fallout of the same zombie apocalypse portrayed on “The Walking Dead,” but in a different part of the world.

The news comes just days before the highly anticipated season finale of “The Walking Dead,” which airs Sunday, March 30, at 7 p.m. on AMC in Provo.

Personal Take

When AMC announced the companion series to “The Walking Dead” in September, it seemed silly not to call it a spinoff.

After six months of consideration, however, it now seems accurate to call the show a companion series instead of a spinoff. As Kirkman has pointed out before, there are no characters carrying over to the new show, so technically, it’s not a spinoff.

Companion series it is, folks.

Whatever its classification, the stakes are high for Erickson and Kirkman to produce another zombie hit.

With so many main characters dying off on the original “Walking Dead” – with probably at least one more during Sunday’s season finale – the new show could serve as a reboot. With a whole new slate of characters to abuse and kill off, this could kick start the writing staff’s creative juices.

As long as they stick to the formula that’s worked so well for “The Walking Dead,” viewers are sure to get a quality show. Character-driven drama in the face of a cataclysmic event has a wide range of possibilities.

Watch your step, new “Walking Dead” show! The second you throw a character that’s been on the original show into the mix – no matter how small the character’s part was – your companion series status will be revoked.

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