‘The Walking Dead’ Season Two Might Not Air Until October 2011

AMC has already given the green light for a second season of “The Walking Dead” after airing the first two episodes. Indeed, the show is performing extraordinarily well, drawing 5.3 million viewers during the series premiere, going down to 4.7 million for episode two before rising up again to 5.1 million with this past Sunday’s third episode.

That’s the good news. Here’s the bad: it’s very likely that following the conclusion of this six-episode first season, fans won’t see any further zombie killing for almost a year.

The Hollywood Reporter reveals that while a second season of “The Walking Dead” is a certainty, it’s likely that year two wouldn’t launch until next October. There are two apparent reasons for the possible decision — with an emphasis on possible, since no official decisions regarding the show’s schedule have been made just yet.

Reason number one pertains to Fearfest, AMC’s annual horror movie marathon that tends to draw in significant viewers. “The Walking Dead” was the feather in Fearfest’s cap this year, topping off the programming block on Halloween night. AMC could be looking for a similar placement next year in an attempt to recapture the success of the series premiere.

Additionally, the network’s schedule is already quite full with original programming. “Breaking Bad” is breaking away from its traditional early spring debut to a summer start for its upcoming fourth season, with “Mad Men” airing its fifth year next summer as well. AMC also has to figure out a premiere date for “The Killing,” their newest original series, and there’s a strong possibility that it’s developing Western pilot “Hell on Wheels” could make it to series in the next year as well.

That makes for a grand total of four shows to air throughout 2011 — five, if you consider the possible “Hell on Wheels” — leaving the network to fill out their schedule as carefully as possible. With all of these variables in play, it’s looking likelier and likelier that “Walking Dead” won’t return to feast on the airwaves until October of 2011.

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