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The basic cable network on Tuesday handed out a formal series order to Tales of the Walking Dead, with the individual episodic anthology series set to debut in summer 2022. The news comes a year after Tales was first put in development at AMC.
Each hourlong episode of Tales will be focused on new and established characters that are based in the larger world of The Walking Dead. Channing Powell, who has been a writer and producer on the flagship series and its first spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, will serve as showrunner on Tales and work alongside franchise content chief Scott M. Gimple on the series. The initial order is for six episodes, with production on the AMC Studios drama set to begin early next year.
“The Walking Dead is a show that made television history and attracted an army of passionate and highly engaged fans,” said Dan McDermott, president of original programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios. “We see so much potential for a wide range of rich and compelling storytelling in this world, and the episodic anthology format of Tales of the Walking Dead will give us the flexibility to entertain existing fans and also offer an entry point for new viewers, especially on streaming platforms. We have seen the appeal of this format in television classics like The Twilight Zone and, more recently, Black Mirror, and are excited to engage with fans in this new way, against the backdrop of this very unique and engrossing world.”
All told, Tales is the fourth spinoff in the world of The Walking Dead. Beyond the mothership, there’s Fear (renewed for its seventh season), limited series Walking Dead: World Beyond and the untitled Norman Reedus-Melissa McBride drama from flagship showrunner Angela Kang. The latter series will launch in 2023 — after The Walking Dead wraps its run in late 2022 following an expanded 24-episode 11th and final season on AMC. There’s also the long-gestating trio of Andrew Lincoln-led feature films following the events of Rick Grimes, the beloved character who was the star of both the TV series and comic book franchise.
“This series, more than any other in the Walking Dead Universe, runs on new voices, perspectives and ideas — bringing to life stories unlike any we’ve told before,” Gimple said. “I’m thrilled to be Channing’s consigliere, helping in every way I can to make those new visions real for the best fans in TV.”
Added Powell: “I started as a fan of The Walking Dead and have ended up as a showrunner of what will hopefully be one of its most unique spinoffs. That’s nuts and I’m so grateful to AMC and Scott for supporting me and my writers while we pushed, pulled and poked at the boundaries of this universe to bring you something new and unexpected, while hopefully still tending to what core audiences loved so much about the flagship show.”
Tales joins an AMC scripted slate that also includes Interview With the Vampire, the final seasons of Killing Eve and Better Call Saul, and the recently renewed Kevin Can F**k Himself, among others.
Tales and the Reedus-McBride Daryl/Carol show come as AMC is looking to keep its cash-cow franchise going after the zombie drama from creator Robert Kirkman wraps its run. By launching a new spinoff featuring The Walking Dead‘s two most popular characters, AMC will have the option to sell international and streaming rights to the series — which are both locked up with a decade-old deal for the flagship — while also reducing the show’s budget and licensing fees.
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