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The Walking Dead prequel companion series gets pilot greenlight from AMC

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The Walking Dead companion series pilot is a go:

EW can exclusively report that AMC has officially ordered a pilot set in the same zombie-plagued universe as TV’s top-rated drama series. The as-yet-untitled project will go into production later this year, and will be set in a different location than the original series and star a new cast of characters. (Since the characters are different, the series not technically a “spinoff.”)

The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert are all on board for the new project. Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy) was tapped as showrunner back in March. Kirkman and Erickson recently turned in a pilot script, which we’re told really impressed AMC’s executive ranks.

“Almost from the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, fans have been curious about what is going on in the zombie apocalypse in other parts of the world,” said AMC President Charlie Collier. “In fact, beyond requests for zombie cameos, it’s the question I get asked the most. Obviously, we all take our stewardship of the original franchise incredibly seriously and we, along with Robert, Gale, David and now Dave, are all proceeding with extreme care in order to ensure that we are offering fans something truly compelling, engaging and distinct. We’re thrilled to be taking this next step with these remarkable partners.”

AMC has not released any details about the series, except that it will be set somewhere other than Georgia. “There are many corners of The Walking Dead universe that remain unseen in the shadows,” Kirkman said. “Being given the opportunity to shine a light into those corners and see what lurks out there is an absolute thrill. I know the fans are anxious to hear what Dave and I have been cooking up for this new universe of The Walking Dead, and I’m happy to be one step closer to sharing it with them.”

The proposed series has been in development since last year. Kirkman told IGN: “It definitely won’t be set in Georgia—I can at least say that. It’s important to us that this show exists on its own. The spinoff has to be a show worthy of existing, or else we’ve all sold out. So that’s something we’re all working hard towards doing, and I think we can pull it off. I think that the ideal situation is, when you’re watching the spinoff, you’re like, ‘Wow, this is a really awesome show.'”

The Walking Dead returns for its fifth season on Oct. 12. For more, be sure to check out Dalton Ross’ full coverage of the upcoming season, such as the cast discussing what’s to come and co-star Norman Reedus on Daryl’s next arc.

Reddit comments on the companion show:

Initial cast of characters:

SEAN CABRERA | A Latino male in his early 40s, Sean is a good man trying to do right by everyone in his life.

CODY CABRERA | Sean’s whip-smart and rebellious teenage son. Known as the angriest kid in town.

NANCY TOMPKINS | A thirtysomething single mom to two kids, Nancy looks like the girl next door, but there’s an edge to her.

NICK TOMPKINS | Nancy’s screwed up teenage son. He’s too old to stay home, too scared to flee.

ASHLEY TOMPKINS | Nancy’s mostly level-headed teenage daughter. Her ambition is in direct proportion to her older brother’s failures. She loves her mom but it’s time to get out of Dodge.

ANDREA CHAPMAN | A somewhat wilted flower child, fortysomething Andrea — yep, another Andrea! — has retreated to the outskirts of the city to recover after a horrible marriage.

AMC has promised that TWD: 2.0 will shed light on a new, previously unseen corner of the zombie apocalypse — perhaps one where the living outnumber the undead.

As TVLine previously reported, there’s buzz that the offshoot — penned by showrunner Dave Erickson and TWD creator Robert Kirkman — will be a prequel of sorts, one that would chronicle the early days of the epidemic and the effort to contain it.

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