Just when you think television might finally be getting adventurous with the advent of high-quality cable shows, they prove you wrong. AMC has just announced a Walking Dead spinoff, just weeks after they announced a Breaking Bad spinoff. Are they that worried about launching new shows?
AMC isn’t supposed to behave like a typical network – they’re supposed to be fostering creativity and with the end of one of their biggest shows, Breaking Bad, they should be looking to new stories, not focusing on telling the same ones.
It’s unfortunate that they feel that they can’t take risks, because that’s clearly what this is. If they weren’t worried, they would not have decided to create spin-offs of their two highest rates shows, shows that DO NOT need a spinoff. Oh, I’m sure the fans will be ecstatic. But it’s not a smart creative decision.
In Breaking Bad’s case, it’s a bit more understandable. The show is coming to an end, and they’re going to focus on a completely different character – Saul Goodman – who has a completely different set of problems than Walter White. And the fan response was strong because Saul was a unique character that could hold his own show, and it would be different enough to Breaking Bad to warrant a spinoff. You know, like Harry Potter and the newly announced Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.
But in Walking Dead’s case, it just comes off as a money grab. The statement from the executives said as much, when they released, “It’s a big world and we can’t wait to give fans another unforgettable view of the zombie apocalypse.” I agree that there’s a lot to explore in a zombie apocalypse – but having two zombie shows produced by the same network and the same writer isn’t going to lend itself to being different. What you’ll end up with is two shows with similar tones, who end up clashing and capitalizing on each other’s fan base. Besides, we already have movies doing that too, now. World War Z 2 is already in development, and although zombies are the new craze in Hollywood, I honestly think two zombie shows from the same network is too much.