AMC is changing things up. First up, a bit of a scheduling change for The Walking Dead. Second, an order for Kevin Smith's unscripted series, Secret Stash. They couldn't make two more dissimilar, concurrent decisions if they tried.
Let's start with the zombie series. We're already aware that The Walking Dead will premiere on October 16 in a new time slot: 9 p.m. Now, the network says they will serve up a larger season premiere that night with a 90-minute episode that first night. Then, they will only air six of Season 2's 13 episodes in the weeks after the premiere, holding the last six episodes until February 12 in the same time slot. Well, there's something to be said for delayed gratification, right?
Now for the shocker: greenlighting the Kevin Smith series. Not only are we shocked that AMC would tie themselves to the infamously outspoken director, but this would be their first foray into unscripted television. It's set to premiere alongside the second half of The Walking Dead's season in February, which is, in a tangetial way, very appropriate. The Walking Dead is adapted from the series of Graphic Novels by Robert Kirkman and Smith's Secret Stash is an unscripted show about Smith's Red Bank, New Jersey comic book shop. See, they're sort of related. Except one is a well-written, evocative, surreal slice of great television and one is about a place Kevin Smith owns. But hey, he's done great work before. We'll try to put his Twitter account and Cop Out out of our minds and hope for the best.
It does make sense though. "Unscripted" spells lower production costs and with all the back and forth about those dollars at the quality network, easy content is something they'd likely seek.
Of course, being that this Smith we're talking about, he's got a long-winded statement about his most recent partnership and since our optimism is so thin, we'll leave you with his encouraging words:
Draper. Meth. Zombies. This show couldn't be on a better network. AMC is to television what Miramax was to cinema back when I first got in the game: they're the premier destination for any storyteller looking to spin an offbeat yarn that no other outlet has the stones to touch. And as if I didn't love them enough, now they're putting my friends on TV! I'm ecstatic, proud, and extremely lucky to be in bed with a network I watch religiously anyway. And if they'd pushed just a little harder in the negotiations, I'd have done this show for no payment beyond early access to every episode of 'Mad Men,' 'Breaking Bad,' and 'Walking Dead.'
Well, at least he knows how lucky he is to be on AMC.