AMC's planned The Walking Dead spinoff is now quite possibly going to be a prequel detailing just how the zombie plague was created, as reported by TVLine. So far, the reaction from fans has been a dispassionate, zombie-like "enh," but everyone at the cable network is still trying to drum up enthusiasum for the followup to their most popular show.
The series, set a few years before The Walking Dead, will finally answer exactly how the virus was made, and for what purpose. Series creator Robert Kirkman is developing the new show as well, but he'll no longer have his own source material to work with, as the comics remain focused on Rick & Co. Instead, we could be spending time with the geniuses who developed a zombie supervirus and then let it turn into a raging epidemic.
What's odd is that AMC is framing this idea as a novel, exciting concept — getting to see what happened before the apocolypse hit. But if anything, there's been a glut of films with that exact premise, and the thing that made Walking Dead stand out was how the characters had to deal with the huge change that wasn't their fault. But plenty of fans will likely take this new series as a chance to jump ship from the staid characters on the original show, which has struggled to find an emotional center or meaningful conflicts from the remaining cast. But, with the same people behind the camera on both shows, there's no reason to believe the same thing won't happen with a new group of people. Especially a group of people that develop a zombie supervirus. And then release it into the world. Which it ruins. It's creating a The Newsroom-like hindsight-is-20/20 timeline, but instead of enabling the characters to somehow be future-predicting supersavants, they'll constantly be messing up — because they can't fix their own mistakes or come up with a cure without contradicting The Walking Dead.
This series isn't even planned to air until 2015, so there's plenty of news to come, and potentially change. But with their only other new shows on the horizon another potential comic book adaptation and another prequel, AMC has their work cut out for them.
The folks behind The Walking Dead have promised that there will be 27 freaking deaths during tonight's finale, "Welcome to the Tombs." And with the battle between the Grimes Gang and Woodbury rapidly approaching, we're not too surprised. And though we have our own theories on who will bite it (or get bitten) tonight (sorry Carol, Milton, all the Greenes besides Maggie, baby Asskicker, Martinez, and Tyreese's white friends), we want to hear what YOU think. Vote in the poll below, and defend your choice(s) in the comments!
RELATED: 'The Walking Dead' Star Steven Yeun Talks Sunday's Finale
&lt;a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/7003377/"&gt;Who Will Die on 'The Walking Dead' Finale?&lt;/a&gt;
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[PHOTO CREDIT: Frank Ockenfels/AMC]
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Returning Series: The Walking Dead
Premiere Date: Sunday, Oct. 14 at 9pm ET
Number of Seasons On the Air: This will be The Walking Dead's third season on the air, but so far we've only seen a few episodes with new showrunner Glen Mazzara.
You’d Like It If…: You don't mind depressing, post-apocalyptic scenarios. You find dystopias to be fascinating. You enjoy the intense, morally ambiguous debates about how to govern a government-less society on shows like Fringe and Battlestar Galactica, but think both of those shows would benefit from more gore.
You’d Hate It If…: You like all of your zombie fare to be as fast-paced as, say, 28 Days Later. Walking Dead can be a slow burn. Also, if you're not a horror fan.
Walking Dead’s Formula: Day of the Dead's zombies meet Battlestar Galactica's band of lost, aimless misfits meets Dallas' southern accents meets The Road's horrifying portrayal of human-on-human post-apocalyptic violence.
Ratings: Pretty damn sexy for a cable series. Last year's finale brought in 9 million viewers, which is like four times the amount of your average NBC comedy.
Accolades: None of the actors have received any Emmy love, but the series has won for its makeup and prosthetics two years in a row. In 2011, Walking Dead received a Golden Globe Best TV Drama Series nom. Not bad!
Where The Walking Dead Left Off: Phew. Got a sec? After an attack on Hershel's farm (which resulted in the deaths of a few of his many family members), Andrea was separated from the gang, and eventually teamed up with badass newcomer Michonne. Rick told the rest of the Grimes Gang — who congregated on an abandoned highway — that he had killed Shane, and that the walker virus had infected all of them. In Walking Dead speak, that means that even dying a natural death will turn people into zombies. Not. Cool. As the show faded to credits, a large prison was shown, looming in the background.
Where The Walking Dead Is Headed: To prison! Most of the Grimes Gang will battle walkers in the aforementioned prison, where they'll find, at least temporarily, some cots, food, and protection. Andrea and Michonne will eventually meet up with the mysterious new villain, the Governor, who has developed some sort of utopian village amidst all of the chaos. Of course, nothing in the village will be as it seems. We still don't know when these two plotlines will intersect, but Norman Reedus told us that they definitely will at some point this season.
Cast: Where do I start? We have Brit Andrew Lincoln as Rick, the former Sheriff charged with making most of the impossible moral decisions on the show. Sarah Wayne Callies is his pregnant wife, Lori, who had an affair with Rick's recently deceased, former best friend Shane. Chandler Riggs is their son Carl, who wears a stupid hat and does stupid things. Steven Yeun is the priceless Glenn, Lauren Cohan is Glenn's new ladylove, Maggie, Scott Wilson is Maggie's dad, Hershel, and Emily Kinney is Maggie's frequently suicidal sister, Beth. Laurie Holden is the long-suffering Andrea, who has teamed up with newcomer Danai Gurira's Michonne. Rounding out the gang are IronE Singleton as T-Dog, who maybe has one line per episode, and Melissa McBride as Carol, who lost her daughter Sophia after a painfully long search last season. David Morrissey will join the cast later this season as The Governor, one of the comics' main antagonists, who leads another pack of survivors. Oh, but wait, and am I forgetting someone? Oh yes, Norman Reedus stars as Daryl Dixon, the most badass, wonderful, crossbow-wielding character on the show. We love him. We love him so much.
High Point: The final three episodes of last season, which almost made up for the torturous pace of the entire first half of the season (see below). First was the impossible debate over executing teenage prisoner Randall, then there was the heartbreaking death of father figure Dale. That was week one. Then came Shane's final betrayal — convinced that he would be a better father and leader than Rick, he led him into the woods for a good old fashioned murder. Rick got to him first, stabbing him to death. Rick's young son, Carl, was watching the whole time, and when he shot the newly zombie-fied Shane in the head, a massive number of walkers headed their way. Eek! This led to an epic finale, where the gang (arguably) won the battle at Hershel's farm, and learned that they would all be walkers one day. Rough.
Low Point: The first seven episodes of last season. We love Frank Darabont, but dedicating seven episodes to the search for a minor character — while nothing else happened — was an epic fail. By the end, the reveal that she was a zombie in Hersel's barn the whole time wasn't even that shocking.
Who To Watch It With: Your significant other, because you might need someone to cuddle up to during the scary parts. If you don't have an SO, I'd recommend buying a teddy bear.
Who Not to Watch It With: Frank Darabont.
Appropriate Food and Beverage Pairing: You might want to avoid food for this one, as some of the walkers on this show are pretty vomit-inducing. (See: the "well walker" below.) As for beverages, I'd go for a nice, cold beer — there won't be many after the zombie apocalypse!
Cringeworthy moment: Try to forget the well walker. We dare you.
Cast Member to Root For: Daryl Dixon. We're a sucker for this occasionally profound, fiercely loyal redneck with a heart of gold. His kind words for Carol last season were pretty heartbreaking, and he's not afraid to do what needs to be done — even if that means shooting a beloved character (Dale) in the face.
Cast Member to Root Against: We hate to say it, but Lori. The female characters on this show don't get a lot of love (though we do like Maggie, Carol, and occasionally Andrea), but Lori is just the worst. She's a classic damsel in distress type on a show that really just needs some badasses. Also, she slept with Shane, which is pretty gross.
What You’re Most Likely to Yell at the Screen: "BEHIND YOU!"
So, Will You Watch It?: Hell yes you will! It's water cooler fare at its finest, and even though it's up against some fierce competition (cough cough, Revenge), this one is worth a DVR at the very least. Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna [PHOTO CREDIT: AMC] MORE: Create Your Own Adventure: 'The Walking Dead' 'Walking Dead' Season 3 Photo Puzzle: Almost There! — EXCLUSIVE CONTEST 'Walking Dead' Season 3 Spoilers: Lori & Rick "Eroding from the Inside Out"
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
UPDATE: While monitoring NBC's ratings may not be the most enthralling of games, watching as the peacock network rolls out its slate of new series is always diverting. We've watched the 2012 lineup of Chelsea Handler-inspired sitcoms and fedora-dependent dramas parade out before the viewing public, only for many of the flashier series to scamper off back to the place from whence they came. (Okay, okay. Are You There, Chelsea? is this close to scampering, but give it time, my friends.) But no matter which ones stick and which ones flop, NBC continually rolls things that make you go "Huh?" This year, we're once again doing the pug head tilt as we flip through the promising, perplexing and intriguing pilot-to-series pick-ups, just in time for next week's upfronts.
Hannibal Starring Hugh Dancy
The network has picked up ten episodes of Hannibal, a series about one of cinema's most beloved villains: Hannibal Lecter, immortalized by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon. Our Idiot Brother star Hugh Dancy is on board as Special Agent Will Graham (formerly played by Edward Norton in Red Dragon.)
1313 Mockingbird Lane Starring Eddie Izzard
In the 1960s, television introduced The Munsters: a life action fantasy-comedy about a family of working-class monsters (Frankenstein's monster, his vampire wife, their werewolf son, and Grandpa, a.k.a. Count "Sam" Dracula). NBC has picked up a reboot of the series, stressing the horror aspect. However, with comedian Eddie Izzard cast as Grandpa, there is likely to be a good deal of humor as well. NBC has picked up 13 episodes of 1313 Mockingbird Lane (a very apropos amount.)
Crossbones from the Creator of Luther
With cannibals and monsters on the way, NBC is covering all bases in terms of the dark and criminal: how about pirates? The network has ordered 10 episodes of Crossbones, a pirate-themed drama from Neil Cross, creator of Luther. The series is adapted from The Republic of Pirates by Colin Woodard, and is set in the 1700s.
Revolution Starring Giancarlo Esposito
When all of the world's electricity suddenly and suspiciously disappears, humanity is forced to pick up and start anew. Of course, easier said than done. Fifteen years after the incident, the world is overtaken by militant societies operating with guerilla warfare. When one girl loses her entire immediate family, she is forced to pick up and find a relative whom she hasn't seen since the planet lost its power. And of course, one question persists: why on Earth did this all happen in the first place?
Do No Harm Starring Steven Pasquale
Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde will be reinvented with a new, modern twist in Do No Harm. The new series stars Rescue Me's Steven Pasquale as an ingenious neurosurgeon, plagued by his malevolent, monstrous alter ego. Joining Pasquale are The Cosby Show's Phylicia Rashad and Law & Order's lana De La Garza.
Infamous Starring Meagan Good
NBC is delving into the world of soap operas and detective stories with Infamous (previously titled Notorious). The series stars Meagan Good who goes undercover among the wealthy family for whom her mother worked as housekeeper when Good's character was a child. She is bent on investigating the murder of one of the family members, who was also her childhood best friend. The series also features Victor Garber and Damages' Tate Donovan.
Guys with Kids Starring Anthony Anderson
In light of the recent "Having kids is funny" theme that is sweeping the comedy world, NBC has picked up Guys with Kids, a sitcom about three friends who are new fathers, all the while suspended in their own adolescence. Star Anthony Anderson actually tried this once already as a movie: My Baby's Daddy, back in 2004. But let's hope this time around, the project has a little more to it. The West Wing's Jesse Bradford, The Sopranos' Jamie-Lynn Sigler and The Cosby Show's Tempestt Bledsoe also star.
Chicago Fire from Creator Dick Wolf
Law & Order mastermind Dick Wolf has spent most of his career looking at the crime-laden streets of New York City, with a few trips to Los Angeles here and there. But Wolf's newest series, Chicago Fire, will focus on a team of fire fighters in the Windy City. The program stars Vampire Diaries' Taylor Kinney, Hawaii Five-0's Lauren German, and House's Jesse Spencer as members of a (if this is the same Dick Wolf we're talking about) entertaining but no-nonsense and dedicated fire department.
1600 Penn Starring Josh GadLike NBC's 30 Rock, which takes place (obviously) at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York, 1600 Penn is set at the house every American can recognize in a matter of seconds: The White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Along with President Obama's former speech writer Jon Lovett and Modern Family director Jason Winer, Book of Mormon star Josh Gad penned this sitcom centered on the First family, a group who turns out to be just as messed up as the rest of us. Gad will star alongside Bill Pullman (who will play the President of the United States once again) and Brittany Snow co-stars as the First daughter.
Animal Practice Starring Weeds' Justin Kirk
You had us Justin Kirk, but just to humor NBC, let's dig into the details. Kirk stars as a vet (as in an animal doctor, not a guy who runs the pancake breakfasts at your church) who tends to side more with the animals he operates on than their owners. Tyler Labine (Reaper) and Bobby Lee (MadTV) costar, but they'll have to wrestle for screen time because Kirk's animal hospital will also include a monkey, presumably in a tiny white lab coat. Go On Starring Matthew Perry The series sounds promising enough — a sportscaster who suffers a great loss finds solace in his support group — just imagine the Former Mr. Chandler Bing as the smug sports guy finally coming to the conclusion that it's okay to get something out of group therapy. However, we've seen this before. In fact, it's almost too familiar. This series is practically an evolution from the last two series Perry tried to get off the ground: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Mr. Sunshine. He's a flippant sportscaster dealing with loss; it basically offers to combine the gravity of Aaron Sorkin's SNL-inspired dramedy with the silly, quippy nature of Mr. Sunshine. That sounds like a perfectly adept progression... now let's just see if it sticks. The New Normal from Creator Ryan Murphy From the creator of Glee and American Horror Story comes a regular family sitcom about a gay couple (The Hangover's Justin Bartha and Book of Mormon's Andrew Rannells,) their surrogate (Georgia King) and their children. Ellen Barkin co-stars as the surrogate's (hopefully delightfully icy) mother and Murphy favorite NeNe Leakes (The Real Housewives of Atlanta) has secured a recurring role. No matter what happens with Leakes and Queen Barkin, there's no way the perfect pairing of Bartha and Rannells won't be worth tuning in at least once. Save Me Starring Anne Heche Anne Heche may have earned her designer shoes by heading up series like Men in Trees and earning roles on Hung and Ally McBeal, but she still can't manage to escape the stigma of her mental breakdown in 2000. Still, we've got to give the girl kudos, because she's getting back on the horse — by playing a woman doing the exact same thing. Heche stars as a woman in a broken marriage who decides to better herself, and produces miracles along the way. It's always a risk bringing miraculous happenings into play on a sitcom, but the quirky Heche might be just the girl to do it. Revolution from J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke Not satisfied with past attempts to capture the post-apocalyptic mindset on television, Revolution attempts to traverse the territory for NBC. The series will follow a group of survivors (including Breaking Bad's Giancarlo Esposito and Twilight's Billy Burke) as they struggle in the new American landscape bereft of technology and civil order. Sure, it sounds a little like Cormac McCarthy's bestseller The Road, but with a sizeable ensemble cast like Revolution's, there will be plenty of series-worthy drama to weave into the otherwise bleak landscape.
Matthew Perry's NBC Series a Go Bill Pullman Gets Presidential (Again) With NBC Giancarlo Esposito Joins J.J. Abrams' Revolution
[Image: Daily Celeb]