AMC today put out the first photo from The Walking Dead Season 4. Here’s a look at Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes back to work on the set in Atlanta. But who is that standing in the shadows? Production on Season 4 began Monday. The Walking Dead‘s Season 3 finale drew 12.4 million viewers, up by more than 3 million from the Season 2 ender. And the Season 3 average in adults 18-49 surpassed everything else on TV this season, including The Big Bang Theory, American Idol, The Voice and Modern Family. Season 4 of The Walking Dead begins airing on AMC in October.
EXCLUSIVE: Glen Mazzara, who ran AMC’s smash hit series The Walking Dead for the past several seasons, will now focus on ghosts. He’s in talks to write The Overlook Hotel, a prequel to the Stanley Kubrick-directed The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel. The film is being developed at Warner Bros to be produced by Mythology Entertainment’s Bradley Fischer, James Vanderbilt and Laeta Kalogridis.
While King wasn’t crazy about the Kubrick movie, there are so many iconic images in that movie, and an outsized performance by Jack Nicholson, that this will be a tough act to follow. Mazzara is an interesting choice. He succeeded Frank Darabont on The Walking Dead, and while it seemed he clashed with graphic novel creator Robert Kirkman — he was dropped as showrunner in December — I think he did a fabulous job in moving forward and giving context to what Darabont started. I’ve never seen a series quite like it, and there are plenty of ghostly nuggets from the formative days of that haunted hotel that were dropped in the book and the Kubrick movie that make me eager to see what Mazzara does with this prequel.
UPDATE: In response to questions about the status of The Walking Dead‘s Melissa McBride, who was not among the four promoted to regular, the actress confirmed on Twitter that she is already a regular on the show. So that is that.…
There’s so much current programming that’s available for free from online pirates that it “could put the whole [pay TV] ecosystem at risk,” Macquarie Equities Research’s Tim Nollen warns today. His report follows what he says was a “quick and dirty Google search” to see what he could find. To his surprise “practically everything that’s popular on TV can be found instantly” from torrent sites such as The Pirate Bay and cyberlockers listed in Letmewatchthis.com. For example, he found episodes of FX’s Justified, TNT’s Dallas, AMC’s The Walking Dead, History’s Vikings, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory less than three hours after they aired. He also was surprised by how slick some of these sites have become. “In terms of usability, it’s difficult to tell the difference between iTunes or Netflix and the smoothest-looking illegitimate sites.” About 70% of U.S. homes have broadband service, giving them the ability to download an hourlong show in about 42 seconds — and lots of people already use that power to watch shows for free. Pirate Bay is more popular among U.S. Internet users than sites from The Washington Post, Best Buy, and dating service Match.com.
Three months after his highly publicized exit from AMC’s The Walking Dead, former Walking Dead executive producer/showrunner Glen Mazzara has launched his own production company, 44 Strong Prods, and has signed an overall deal with Fox TV Studios. Under the pact, Mazzara will develop cable series through 44 Strong — named after his address in Brooklyn, 44 Strong Place — and will shepherd other writers on their own shows. It reunites the writer-producer with FtvS, the studio behind FX’s The Shield, where Mazzara spent six seasons. “The Shield was the show that really put FtvS on the map, and Glen was a huge part of that show’s success,” FtvS president David Madden said. “Years later, Glen has become a lauded and expert showrunner, and after his extraordinary stint on The Walking Dead, we are proud to bring Glen back home.” Added Mazzara, “I’ve had a long history with Fox Television Studios… This is where I want to be, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner as I take the next step in my career.”
Ross Lincoln is a Deadline Contributor.
Diehard zombie fans were out in force for the first night of PaleyFest 2013 thanks to the festival-opening The Walking Dead panel moderated by Nerdist impressario and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick. Perhaps that’s why Hardwick erred on the side of devoted fanboy rather than penetrating interviewer, giving the event more of a Comic-Con panel feel. Cast members Andrew Lincoln (Rick), Dania Gurira (Michonne), Laurie Holden (Andrea), Scott Wilson (Hershel), Emily Kinney (Beth), Norman Reedus (Daryl), and Steven Yeun (Glenn) were joined by series creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman and his co-executive producers Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert for a occasionally salty, consistently hilarious discussion that avoided any hint of controversy.
‘Walking Dead’ EP Gale Anne Hurd Q&A On Glen Mazzara’s Departure, The Series’ Return & ‘Downton Abbey’
You could call her the Queen of the Dead. Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd has been with the AMC zombie apocalypse show from the very beginning, through its behind the scenes up and downs and its record breaking ratings results this past year. After a more than two-month break, The Walking Dead is back Sunday for eight more episodes of its third season. Hurd spoke with Deadline about the show’s return, the sudden exit last year of showrunner Glen Mazzara and how Dead comic creator and show EP Robert Kirkman feels about the detours the series takes from the comics. The seasoned producer also talks about the possibility of a Walking Dead movie and the similarities between her show and its fellow Sunday night airer Downton Abbey.
Deadline: OK. That’s very similar to what he has said. With Glen having left, are we are going to see any difference in the show with Scott Gimple taking over the showrunner job?
Hurd: I don’t think there will be any difference. We have the same writers’ room who’ll be contributing to all the episodes as we had before. We have Greg Nicotero and Robert Kirkman and producer Dave Alpert are still very strong voices. So I don’t think you’ll see a shift at all.
Former The Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara said today that if you want to know why he suddenly lost his job on the hit show last year, he’s not your guy. “When people involved with the show are looking at the long-term plan, you know, they want something different. And what those differences are, you’d have to ask AMC,” he said Tuesday during a session at NATPE. Mazzara exited Walking Dead in December when AMC renewed the breakout series for a fourth season. “I was a hired gun coming in to support the creator of the show and, through odd circumstances, I ended up becoming the showrunner. I was just glad that I was able to contribute and not mess up the show, I see that as a win,” he added to laughs from the crowd. Earlier this month, Walking Dead supervising producer Scott Gimple was announced as Mazzara’s replacement. Mazzara was appearing on a panel in Miami with Lost co-creator/showrunner Damon Lindelof on the second day of the conference. The second part of The Walking Dead’s third season starts February 10.
Season 3 of AMC‘s The Walking Dead, whose fall portion shattered cable ratings ratings and topped broadcast competition, continues on February 10 when the zombie drama returns for its winter premiere. The upcoming episodes were overseen by Walking Dead‘s outgoing showrunner Glen Mazzara, who is being …