Ever since its debut in 2003, The Walking Dead comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Cliff Rathburn and Tony Moore has been one of the most popular independent comics thanks to its unflinching and thrilling depiction of a zombie apocalypse and the struggles of a band of survivors led by former Sheriff, Rick Grimes.
In 2010, The Walking Dead came to AMC as a live action TV series that immediately became one of the highest rated dramas on cable. With an audience in the millions and still growing, AMC unleashed Talking Dead last fall; which is an official talk show dedicated solely to all things The Walking Dead.
Hosted by G4TV personality and The Nerdist mastermind, Chris Hardwick, Talking Dead airs at midnight on Sunday nights after the encore showing of new Walking Dead episodes on AMC. Each week, Hardwick gathers celebrity guests of The Walking Dead, cast members, the crew and even producers of the series for a lively discussion of the latest episode.
The format of Talking Dead lightly resembles Real Time With Bill Maher, as Hardwick and his primary guests appear together before a live studio audience in Los Angeles, California. Each episode of Talking Dead takes a behind-the-scenes look at the series along with occasional humorous segments that include "In Memoriam" sequences for characters who die on the show.
Of course, Talking Dead also reaches out to the fans of The Walking Dead by allowing them to submit questions for the guests via text, Facebook, Twitter and even during the show itself with a call-in segment. And although regular episodes of Talking Dead are a half-hour long on AMC, the show continues at the official web site for Talking Dead with a bonus 15 to 20 minute segment with Hardwick and his guests of the week.
“Fans of The Walking Dead are incredibly engaged with every aspect of the show," explained Joel Stillerman, AMC’s SVP original programming, production and digital content. "They tweet, blog, and post comments in very large numbers, and we wanted to give them an opportunity to interact with the show in a way that they don’t currently have — a kind of live water cooler.”
“As an enormous fan of both The Walking Dead comic and television show, I pretty much begged for this job,” revealed Hardwick. “Dissecting the moves of Rick Grimes and the remaining survivors after every episode is something I would be doing with my friends anyway, so the fact that AMC is actually paying me to do so is a bonus."
"This half-hour after-show gives fans the opportunity to nerd out about the story in a very public forum: what they like, what they don't like, or what questions they may have," continued Hardwick. "Additionally, it will better inform viewers on making intelligent decisions when faced with the zombie apocalypse, which will probably happen sooner or later."
Previous celebrity guests on Talking Dead have included Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Felicia Day, Kevin Smith, Aisha Tyler, Jon Heder, James Gunn, Paul F. Tompkins, Matt Mogk and Matt Besse. Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Norman Reedus, Laurie Holden and Michael Rooker are among the cast members to have dropped by the show, in addition to The Walking Dead executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Greg Nicotero. The Walking Dead creator, Robert Kirkman is also a constant presence on Talking Dead, with appearances in three of the seven episodes to date.
Talking Dead will return to AMC with new episodes on Sunday, February 12 after the encore presentation of the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. And to give you a taste of what to expect, here's a clip from Talking Dead episode six; in which Hardwick shares the stage with director Kevin Smith and comedian Paul F. Tompkins.
Don't miss Talking Dead, midnight on Sunday nights, only on AMC!