AMC Picks Up Pilot Pair

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 AMC has ordered a pair of pilots, The Walking Dead and The Killing.

Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead, has been in publication since October 2003 and is one of the most celebrated contemporary genre comics. The Killing is based on the wildly Danish series "Forbrydelsen."

Both pilots -- the network's fourth and fifth, following Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Rubicon, which has also gone to series, are slated to begin production in second quarter 2010.

"In a short time AMC has become known for telling the best stories on television," said AMC president and general manager Charile Collier in a statement. "Today's announcement underscores the network's commitment to working with the premier talent in the industry and further supports AMC's commitment to being the home for premium television on basic cable."

Noted AMC senior vice president of original programming, production and digital content Joel Stillerman: "The Walking Dead and The Killing are alone in their class in terms of the quality of the storytelling. Both have remarkable talent behind them, and present that rare opportunity to raise the bar significantly within a genre. It is a very exciting next step in our continuing commitment to presenting smart, sophisticated storytelling with broad appeal."

Previously announced as a project in development, The Walking Dead features Robert Kirkman as an executive producer, with three-time Academy award nominee Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) on board to write, direct and executive produce. Valhalla Motion Pictures will serve as the production company for

the show, which tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse, following a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home.

Written and executive-produced by Veena Sud (Cold Case), The Killing is a drama based on the murder of a young girl that prompts a major police investigation.

From Fox Television Studios, The Killing is executive- produced by Mikkel Bondesen (Burn Notice) from Fuse Entertainment. Fuse's Kristen Campo is also a co-producer.

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