An executive producer for The Walking Dead revealed that if NBC picked up the series instead of AMC, it might have become a procedural zombie crime drama, possibly without any actual zombies.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd shared that show creator Frank Darabont pitched the original script to NBC executives. According to Hurd, one of NBC’s first questions was a little strange: “Do there have to be zombies?”
The network then followed up by asking if the show could instead be a procedural crime drama where the two protagonists “solve a zombie crime of the week.” I’m guessing that means a show where the zombies commit the crimes, as opposed to finding justice for the hordes of zombie victims showing up in the morgue (I will avenge you, Rotting Corpse #14).
Think about what this means. We could’ve had zombie serial killers. Zombie mob bosses. Zombie tax evaders. The possibilities are endless! Oh wait they aren’t, because they’re zombies.
I can only imagine our two heroes trying to explain the zombie’s motivation in the final “gotcha” moment of each episode: “Well, she likes brains and tried to eat them, Danny. It’s the same damn story every week. How are we still in business?”
Even though NBC ended up passing on the series, there doesn’t appear to be any bad blood between them. Some of The Walking Dead’s actors appeared on a special video for NBC’s Red Nose Day this year.
Plus, anyone wanting a zombie crime drama without any actual zombies can just watch iZombie. Yeah, yeah, I loved Veronica Mars too. Doesn’t mean bleached hair and psychic powers makes you an undead.