It’s a known fact in Hollywood that network execs often give some pretty ridiculous notes on potential projects, and TV pilots are certainly no exception. It’s also been widely reported that The Walking Dead was pitched to other networks before it settled into its current home on AMC.
In fact, NBC was close to snagging the post-apocalyptic drama. But as comic book creator and show executive producer Robert Kirkman revealed on The Writer’s Room last month, a suggestion from an NBC suit about the pilot encouraged him to continue looking for a home for his now wildly successful show.
“[The Walking Dead] actually did almost get made at NBC. It didn’t get made because when the pilot was turned in, the famous story is one of the executives said, ‘This is awesome. I really love this. Does it have to have zombies in it?’”, Robert relayed to The Writer’s Room’s Jim Rash in the video clip below..
Needless to say, Robert and TWD’s initial showrunner, Frank Darabont decided that the show did need zombies.
And even though passing on NBC was a big risk, Robert went on to explain that NBC was never a great fit for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Co. “You couldn’t have done that kind of show at that network. We were very concerned early on what kind of gore we were going to be able to film and what kind of boundaries we were going to be able to push with the show. And AMC has this thing called Fearfest, and so to ease our minds, they just edited together this four minute clip of the most horrendous bits of gore that you could see on the network.”
From that moment on, Robert knew that AMC was where TWD belonged, and, as they say, the rest was history!
Are you surprised by the note Frank and Robert got from an NBC exec? Tell us your thoughts below!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.