AMC Orders Pilot For ‘The Walking Dead’ TV Series

The Walking Dead” television series took a big step forward today with the announcement that AMC has ordered a pilot for the adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s post-apocalyptic drama.

According to an official statement from the network, the “Walking Dead” pilot will go into production in the second quarter of 2010. Kirkman will serve as executive producer on the “Walking Dead” series alongside Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Mist”), who will also write and direct the pilot.

A pilot was also ordered for AMC’s adaptation of “The Killing,” based on the Danish series “Forbrydelsen.”

“The Walking Dead and The Killing are alone in their class in terms of the quality of the storytelling. Both have remarkable talent behind them, and present that rare opportunity to raise the bar significantly within a genre. It is a very exciting next step in our continuing commitment to presenting smart, sophisticated storytelling with broad appeal,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s senior vice president of original programming, production and digital content.

Plans for a “Walking Dead” TV series were first announced in August 2009. MTV News spoke with Kirkman at length about the “Walking Dead” series, Darabont’s involvement and how it will compare to the comics in September.

“I think it will be 100-percent true to the tone of the series, but at the same time it will be an entertaining, secondary way of experiencing “The Walking Dead” in a completely different light, so I’m excited,” he said.

Keep it locked to Splash Page for more “Walking Dead” TV series news as it develops.

Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!

Official press release text follows:

AMC ORDERS TWO PILOTS, BUILDING ON NETWORK’S ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING STRATEGY

Pilot Order For THE WALKING DEAD
Based on the Comic Book Series by Robert Kirkman

Pilot Order For THE KILLING
Adapted from the Danish Series “Forbrydelsen”

New York, NY – January 20, 2010 – AMC announced today two pilot orders for The Walking Dead and The Killing. Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead, has been in publication since October 2003 and is one of the most celebrated contemporary genre comics. The Killing is based on the wildly successful Danish series “Forbrydelsen.” Both pilots go into production in second quarter 2010. Today’s announcement marks the fourth and fifth pilot orders from AMC. The first three pilots developed were Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Rubicon, which all led to full series orders. Today’s announcement comes on the heels of AMC becoming the only network, in television history, to win three consecutive (2008, 2009, 2010) Golden Globe Awards for Best Dramatic Series for Mad Men.

“In a short time AMC has become known for telling the best stories on television. Today’s announcement underscores the network’s commitment to working with the premier talent in the industry and further supports AMC’s commitment to being the home for premium television on basic cable,” said Charlie Collier, president and general manager of AMC.

“The Walking Dead and The Killing are alone in their class in terms of the quality of the storytelling. Both have remarkable talent behind them, and present that rare opportunity to raise the bar significantly within a genre. It is a very exciting next step in our continuing commitment to presenting smart, sophisticated storytelling with broad appeal,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s senior vice president of original programming, production and digital content.

Previously announced as a project in development, Robert Kirkman has signed on to serve as an executive producer on The Walking Dead and three-time Academy Award nominee Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) has signed on to write, direct and executive produce. Valhalla Motion Pictures has signed on as the production company to produce the series with its Chairman, Gale Anne Hurd (The Terminator, Aliens, Armageddon, The Incredible Hulk) to executive produce. David Alpert from Circle of Confusion has also signed on as executive producer.

Written and executive produced by Veena Sud (Cold Case) The Killing is a drama series based on the murder of a young girl that then prompts a major police investigation. From Fox Television Studios, The Killing is executive produced by Mikkel Bondesen (Burn Notice) from Fuse Entertainment. Fuse’s Kristen Campo is also a co-producer.

About The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead 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 comic goes on to explore the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies who take a toll on the survivors, and sometimes the interpersonal conflicts present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the zombies that roam the country. Over time, the characters are changed by the constant exposure to death and some grow willing to do anything to survive.

About The Killing

The Killing ties together three distinct stories by a single murder and as the detectives assigned to the case disagree about the best course of action, they chase down a variety of leads and suspects. Along the way there are major repercussions for the victim’s family, the detectives, the suspects, and the local politicians connected to the case. It is an exploration of Seattle politics; a unique portrayal of a victim’s grieving family, and a study of the personal life of a cop. There are no accidents in The Killing. Everyone has a secret, and while our characters think they’ve moved on, their past isn’t done with them.

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