News broke today that AMC will add a Walking Dead spinoff to its roster next year, in addition to the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul that’s already on the docket, with filming on a pilot due to commence in late 2014. The spinoff will focus on the effects of the zombie apocalypse in other parts of the world and its showrunner will be Dave Erickson, who co-wrote the pilot with original comic book creator Roger Kirkman.
While the pilot doesn’t yet have a series order, it’s hard to imagine AMC won’t put it on the air considering their recent scheduling strategies. With Breaking Bad now over and Mad Men wrapping up this spring, AMC only has Walking Dead to lean on as it tries to launch new programming. This year’s new offerings Turn and Halt and Catch Fire got renewed for a second season despite a tepid critical response, but The Walking Dead is the real ratings machine for the basic-cable network, which has captured six out of the last seven Emmy trophies for Outstanding Drama Series.
So why not get some more Walking Dead going? Despite increasing critical frustration with the show, it only does better and better in the ratings (it’s now the highest-rated scripted program in the history of basic cable) and could maybe allow AMC to establish another bulwark on the calendar.
"There are many corners of The Walking Dead universe that remain unseen in the shadows," Kirkman said in a statement. "Being given the opportunity to shine a light into those corners and see what lurks out there is an absolute thrill. I know the fans are anxious to hear what Dave and I have been cooking up for this new universe of The Walking Dead, and I'm happy to be one step closer to sharing it with them."