How in the world did a show that begins with a policeman shooting a little (albeit zombified) girl in the head ever make it on to television? And how did it become the hottest new series of the year? The new issue of Entertainment Weekly examines the past, present, and future of AMC’s zombie survival epic, The Walking Dead — from the comic book’s humble beginnings, to unlikely path to the small screen, to even more unlikely path as a bona fide hit. We talk to all the key players, including comic creator Robert Kirkman, executive producers Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd, and star Andrew Lincoln, who was as shocked as anybody by the subject matter when he was first approached for the project. “I got an e-mail outlining the project,” says Lincoln. “The first thing I read was ‘AMC.’ I went, ‘Great! I’ve been waiting for an AMC opportunity!’ Then it said ‘The Walking Dead.’ Terrific title. Then the names. ‘Frank Darabont.’ ‘Gale Anne Hurd.’ Great. And then it said ‘Zombie survival horror.’ I think I actually did a literal double take. I was like, ‘Really?!’
For more on The Walking Dead, check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on sale Nov. 29.