Would 'The Walking Dead' have been such a great show if it had no zombies? One super smart TV executive seems to think it would have been.
Certain shows rely on one very specific aspect to make them what they are. Breaking Bad needed Walt to establish a meth empire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer needed a few vampires for her to slay, Orange is the New Black sort of needs to be set in a prison (a sewing club doesn't have quite the same lure), but The Walking Dead? Nah, that should be fine with no zombies. Oh, hang on.
Sure, The Walking Dead would have been just as successful if there were no zombies in it
So, it turns out that an NBC exec actually vetoed the project, well, because, he wasn’t quite sure if the show needed zombies. The Walking Dead creators Frank Darabont and Robert Kirkman explained to Jim Rash on Sundance’s The Writer’s Room: “[The Walking Dead] actually almost did almost get made at NBC. It didn’t get made when the pilot was turned in, the famous story is one of the executives said, ‘This is awesome. I really love this . Does it have to have zombies in it?’”
For those that have seen the pilot episode of The Walking Dead, the whole series would have lasted roughly six and a half minutes (a ballpark figure) if Rick had woken up in hospital and just gone home to his wife and son. Show tagline: "POLICEMAN GETS SHOT! Is fine, though."
You may already have guessed, but Darabont and Kirkman decided to pitch the show to a few more networks, and ultimately didn’t choose NBC. For the obvious reasons. Kirkman continued, “You couldn’t have done that kind of show at that network. We were very concerned early on what kind of gore we were going to be able to film and what kind of boundaries we were going to be able to push with the show. And AMC has this thing called Fearfest, and so to ease our minds, they just edited together this four minute clip of the most horrendous bits of gore that you could see on the network.”
It would have been just as exciting to watch Rick slaughter an epidemic of Care Bears
In other The Walking Dead news, Kirkman did confirm that the spin-off series still has the green light. But don’t expect to see your favourite characters from the popular zombie apocalypse show. While The Walking Dead spin-off will still be concerned with zombies (we’re 99% it won’t be picked up by NBC who will change the apocalypse catalyst to butterflies), it will be set in another part of the world with a whole new group of people dealing with the same problem. The spin-off was originally due to be aired in 2015, although the producers are currently unsure whether it will be ready by then, as they want to get it just right.