The Walking Dead spinoff coming to AMC in 2015

AMC has taken a shine to spinoffs, it seems. Fresh off last week’s news that Saul Goodman, the Breaking Bad character played by Bob Odenkirk, would be getting his own prequel series, the tony cabler announced today that The Walking Dead spinoff is a go. People were expecting, or at least speculating, on the Better Call Saul idea, but this one seems to have sprung up out of nowhere.

Robert Kirkman, an executive producer who also writes the comic book series that serves as the basis for the series, will be involved, along with fellow Eps Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert, with a target on-air date of 2015.

Oh, wait, they’re calling it a “companion series,” so for whatever that’s worth. The idea, essentially, is that it will follow the world of The Walking Dead from a perspective different from a handful of survivors in Georgia. I’d personally like to see a more global approach, something that pertains to whatever semblance of overall government or society is left. This would contrast nicely with the smaller, more personal story of Rick and company.

Here’s the official network rah-rah: “Building on the success of the most popular show on television for adults 18-49 is literally a no-brainer,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president and general manager, in a statement. “We look forward to working with Robert, Gale and Dave again as we develop an entirely new story and cast of characters. It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse.”

Kirkman added, “After 10 years of writing the comic book series and being so close to the debut of our fourth — and in my opinion, best — season of the TV series, I couldn’t be more thrilled about getting the chance to create a new corner of The Walking Dead universe. The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.”

I have a strange feeling this might be the tipping point for zombie madness. Will the show still be this hot in two years? Or perhaps this is setting us up for the end of The Walking Dead, with plans to kill off all the current cast members but still keep the franchise going. Might sound far-fetched, but AMC has proved it can go there. I mean, c’mon, you’ve been watching Breaking Bad, right?

Season 4 of The Walking Dead (henceforth a.k.a. “the mothership”) premieres Oct. 13 on AMC.

The Walking Dead spinoff Season 4 AMC Andrew Lincoln
Credit: Gene Page/AMC