Much like how many American comedy shows and personalities claim they prefer to work or air their content in the UK due to the region’s ’darker’ sense of humour and less restrictive networks, personnel of hit AMC series The Walking Dead have claimed that they are thankful for the cable network’s level of committment and creative freedom offered to the series, and that it is the reasoning that they are on the channel as opposed to a number of others who offered to take the show on before its first season.
Greg Nicotero, an executive producer and make-up effects chief on the zombie survival drama, claims that NBC and HBO were amongst those that expressed interest in showing the series, though their offers came with the stipulation of more network control of what potential content could go on-air on the broadcast network or premium cable channel, namely the levels of blood, violence, and gore.
This led producers to choose an offer by AMC, who have seen their gamble pay off with record ratings after 10.9m viewers saw the third season premiere of the comic book-based show, which has become a cult favourite in its current 21-episode history.
Nicotero said of their host network: “Thank goodness we wound up at AMC – they totally get this show. Right from the beginning, [AMC has] been completely trusting and supportive of what we’ve been trying to do with this series.”
Laurie Holden (who plays ‘Andrea’ in the series) had recently added to the suggestions that the show’s violence is a selling point to the audience, as she noted of the high-rating season three premiere: “I do have to say that in the first two episodes [of season three], I think we killed more… than we did in seasons one and two combined.”
The series, which airs on Sunday evenings on AMC, will be likely to continue successfully at its current home for quite a while, so did NBC and HBO miss a trick by not signing up the show at all costs? At least NBC’s decision to not show live 9/11 memorial content last month makes a bit more sense… but by extension, does that mean that reality TV family the Kardashians are considered less of a threat to American society than a few zombie decapitations?