How Chris Hardwick's New Weekly Geek Show 'Talking' Isn't Like Its Rivals (Q&A)

Photographed by Peter Yang
Chris Hardwick

"As a viewer I want to see a show breathe and have an in-depth conversation," says the 'Talking With Chris Hardwick' host about his upcoming AMC series, which will feature episodes with Elijah Wood, the 'Silicon Valley' cast and more.

For six seasons, Chris Hardwick, 45, has hosted AMC's Talking Dead, a Walking Dead "aftershow" in which cast, crew and fans of cable's top-rated series unpack that night's episode. Now AMC is betting that his unparalleled geek cred — honed from moderating countless Comic-Con panels and his Nerdist podcast — can support a talker that doesn't come "after" anything. Talking With Chris Hardwick premieres April 9 and will recur year-round on weeks when new episodes of Dead and its spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, don't air. THR got the ubiquitous host (Comedy Central's @midnight, NBC's The Wall and upcoming six-episode science series The Awesome Show are his other gigs) to talk about Talking.

Explain your new format.

The show was AMC's idea — at first I didn't understand what they were asking for, but eventually I got it. It's a different guest each week — actors, directors, writers, casts — and they will activate different areas of fandom. There's this turnstile thing going on in late night with a lot of guests, viral clips, stunts. I thought maybe as a viewer I want to see a show breathe and have an in-depth conversation.

Who are your first guests?

One episode will feature the cast of Silicon Valley. Another is an hour of Elijah Wood. Other guests are still in the works. Some are people you wouldn't see on a typical talk show — they just might not register on their radar.

So kind of a "Charlie Rose of geekdom" vibe.

That's a very generous comparison, but yes. That's a perfect way to put it.

This story first appeared in the March 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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