“The Walking Dead” might be a bonafide hit in 2016, but when creator Frank Darabont first pitched the series to networks more than six years ago, he faced some resistance.
The television landscape at the time was vastly different than the high-concept cable-friendly programming of today, and a show following a group of survivors through a zombie apocalypse was far from palatable to most major networks.
Apparently, NBC was interested in the series, but had hopes of restructuring it within the confines of a more traditional format, Variety reports.
According to executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, who spilled some “Walking Dead” secrets at a recent masterclass at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, NBC’s response to Darabont’s pitch was, “Do there have to be zombies [in it]?”
The network heads then asked if the two leads could “solve a zombie crime of the week,” a la every other throwaway series on TV. Sounds terrible, right?
Obviously, Darabont and company went in a different direction, eventually landing at AMC, where they’re free to rebuke narrative standards every week by letting flesh-eating zombies kill your faves.
“The Walking Dead” returns Oct. 23 on AMC.