The Watchman: ‘Survivor’ Features Past Champs at ‘War’; Walking Dead Walk to School on Disney

Senior content producer Michael Malone’s look at the programming scene
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The 40th edition of Survivor begins on CBS Wednesday, Feb. 12. It is “Winners at War,” with only past champions among the 20 contestants. They include Ethan Zohn, “Boston” Rob Mariano, Parvati Shallow and Sandra Diaz-Twine.

Survivor

Survivor

The winner gets a cool $2 million. Host Jeff Probst said the contestant who best adjusts to the rhythm of the game may end up with all of the money. “I think being able to read the pace of this season and act accordingly will be essential in getting to the end with a chance to win,” said Probst, also an executive producer. “You have to sense when to [hit] the gas and when to hit the brakes. There will be very little wiggle room for mistakes.”

Just about every season of Survivor offers something new and this time, it’s currency. “Fire tokens will quickly become very important to players in the game and those who find themselves on the Edge of Extinction,” Probst said. “As with any society, once money enters, everything changes.”

Every past champ who was asked to come on said yes, according to Probst. “With each new player that said ‘yes,’ you could feel the momentum accelerate a bit more,” he added.

Walking Dead Walk to School on Disney

Also looking to outwit, outlast and outplay are the zombie kids in Zombies 2. The follow-up to 2018 film Zombies, it premieres on Disney Channel Friday, Feb. 14. Set in the town of Seabrook, where zombies live in a ghetto on the edge of town, Zombies showed the unlikely romance between cheerleader girl Addison and zombie boy Zed.

Zombies 2 sees a group of mysterious werewolves roll into town.

Zombies 2 on Disney Channel

Zombies 2

David Light and Joseph Raso wrote and executive produced the film. The pair sought to produce a zombie story kids could watch without being scared to death. The Zombies zombies are “attractive and adorable and cute,” Light said, “and they’re great singers and dancers.”

Milo Manheim plays Zed and Meg Donnelly is Addison. Paul Hoen directed both Zombies films.

In the original movie the zombies mostly sought to fit in with the humans. The werewolves, led by Willa, Wyatt and Wynter, not so much.

Highlights of Zombies 2 include Zed and cheer captain Bucky, both running for class president, engaging in a rap battle. The film is full of original music: Cheerleader tunes are pop, the zombies are hip-hop and the werewolves do world beat.

The town’s name is a nod to William Seabrook, an author whose Adventures in Arabia is said to introduce zombies to pop culture.

Light and Raso are keen to keep the franchise rolling. “We definitely envision a Zombies 3,” Raso said. “Of course there would be a new monster introduced to it.”

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