The Dead Live On: AMC Renews 'The Walking Dead' for Season 3

Tuesday, 25 October 2011 12:25 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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The Dead Live On: AMC Renews 'The Walking Dead' for Season 3

AMC is a cable network unafraid to put it all out there with material other wouldn't even approach.  It currently has three hugely popular flagship series; one is set in the 1960's and centers on philandering ad-man with identity issues, another follows a chemistry teacher-turned-meth-cook-turned-malicious-bastard, and the latest is a comic book adaptation set in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.  The second season premiere of The Walking Dead, based on the Image comic by Robert Kirkman, was the highest rated basic cable drama of all time, with 7.2 million viewers tuning in.  Only two episodes into the second season but established as AMC's most popular show, the network has officially renewed the zombie epic for a third season, which will presumably premiere just in time for Halloween in 2012.

Here's the official press release, with comments from AMC President Charlie Collier:

New York – October 25, 2011 - AMC announced today the renewal of “The Walking Dead” for a third season.  Season two continues to deliver the strongest telecasts for any drama in basic cable history against Adults 18-49 shattering a basic cable record set nearly 10 years ago for a single drama telecast (“The Dead Zone”). “The Walking Dead” is based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics.  Glen Mazzara serves as series’ showrunner. Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert and Frank Darabont are executive producers. Greg Nicotero is a co-executive producer.

"Today we are pleased to announce that the ‘dead’ shall live as we proudly renew ‘The Walking Dead’ for a third season on AMC and, globally, with our terrific partners at Fox International Channels," said Charlie Collier, AMC’s President. “We are thankful for everyone’s contribution in front of and behind the camera as we continue to make ‘The Walking Dead’ a unique television experience. And, we are so proud as it continues to set viewership records around the world.”

FOX International Channels rolled-out its global launch for “The Walking Dead” this weekend, with premieres on FIC’s cable networks in Europe, Asia, Latin American, Africa and the Middle East. The series’ international premieres delivered equally impressive results in all major international TV markets, and broke pay-TV ratings’ records across the world. Over 10 million viewers in 122 countries tuned in live to watch the second season premiere of this highly anticipated returning drama. And, FIC will once again be the international broadcasting partner for the series with Entertainment One continuing to distribute in non-FIC markets.

“Partnering with AMC on ‘The Walking Dead’ took some guts", said Sharon Tal Yguado, SVP of Scripted Programming at FIC. “But at the same time was the easiest programming decision we ever made. It's rare to come across a groundbreaking TV project that is also attached to some of the best talent in town. ‘The Walking Dead’ was treated as a global event since day one and not only changed the traditional TV model but also changed our viewers' TV experience. It is now officially a global addiction with millions of fans around the globe wanting more. We are delighted to give it to them.”

“The Walking Dead” secured a 2010 Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series - Drama and won the 2011 Emmy Award for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup. The series tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. 

“The Walking Dead” received rave reviews from countless critics, both domestic and international, who heralded the series as “above all else, “The Walking Dead” hasn't lost the most important ingredient in its strangely successful recipe: it’s thrilling” (The Hollywood Reporter), “…with Dead’s riveting cast of characters, the personal dynamics are almost as potent as the gory thrills” (Us Weekly), “The Walking Dead is a feast.  Dig in.” (The Guardian, UK),   “It doesn’t even take three minutes to realize that this series is setting standards” (Der Tagesspiegel, Germany).

Any show that has makeup effects mastermind and KNB Effects co-founder Greg Nicotero as an executive producer is cool by default.  The series, overseen by Glen Mazzara, stars Andrew Walker as pre-apocalypse sheriff Rick Grimes, along with Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, and Laurie Holden.

The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC.  Check your local listings (I've always wanted to say that).


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