NBC Wanted The Walking Dead But Only As a Zombie-Crime-of-the-Week Procedural

Photo: Gene Page/AMC/© AMC Film Holdings LLC.

If you've ever seen zombies pull people apart with their teeth on The Walking Dead and wondered, 'But what exactly is this biter's motive?' then you should consider a career as an NBC executive. According to Variety, Walking Dead executive producer Gale Anne Hurd recently told a master class at the Edinburgh International TV Festival that when the show's creator, Frank Darabont, first pitched his pilot to NBC, the network had a few notes. "Do there have to be zombies [in it]?” NBC reportedly asked, and then later suggested "a procedural in which the two main protagonists would 'solve a zombie crime of the week.'" Rick, Carol, and the rest of the crew ended up on AMC instead, which is a shame because without the mystery-solving element, we'll probably never know which zombie ate that one character off-camera and why the series tortured us with Lori for so long. But, with the success of Fear of the Walking Dead, maybe it's not too late for a crime-procedural spin-off. After all, in the post-zombie world, brain-eating offenses are considered especially heinous.