AMC Unleashes 'The Walking Dead'


Continuing to build its series roster, AMC has given the green light to The Walking Dead, a post apocalyptic project about zombies based on the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman.
AMC has ordered six installments of the series, featuring Kirkman as executive producer, that is scheduled to bow during the network's "Fearfest" marathon of thriller and horror programming during October. AMC announced development of The Walking Dead in August 2009 and announced the pilot pick-up in January.
Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile writer Frank Darabont will serve as writer, director and executive producer of the show, which will showcase Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) who will portray the character Shane.
"AMC strives to make original shows that play like movies and The Walking Dead is a perfect complement to the network's celebrated movie franchise, Fearfest, which has always been an important destination for our audience," said AMC president Charlie Collier in a statement."With its depth of story and the remarkable talent attached, The Walking Dead gives us an opportunity to raise the bar significantly within this popular genre, and continue our commitment to being the home of premium programming on basic cable."
"The Walking Dead is that rare piece of material that plays on many levels," said Joel Stillerman, the network's senior vice president of programming, production and digital content. "Kirkman's series brilliantly captures the social commentary and ongoing human drama of the zombie apocalypse; and let's us kick a little zombie you-know-what from time to time."
The announcement follows the March 29 start of production on Rubicon, an original drama that AMC plans to premiere this summer. A conspiracy thriller, Rubicon stars James Badge Dale, currently appearing in HBO's The Pacific, as an analyst at a New York City think-tank who is thrown into a story where nothing is as it appears to be. Henry Bromell (Homicide: Life on the Street, Chicago Hope) has signed on as showrunner. The one-hour, 13-episode weekly series is produced by Warner Horizon Television.
Rubicon and The Walking Dead supplement the network's award-winning pair of original shows, retro advertising  seriesMad Men, which has captured the past two Emmys for best drama, and Breaking Bad, whose star Bryan Cranston has also won two Emmys for best actor for his portrayal of chemistry teacher turned crystal-meth cooker and purveyor Walt White.
The third-season premiere of Breaking Bad on March 21earned the series its top Nielsen grades to date while Mad Men's fourth campaign is slated for a summer return.