Monday, October 17, 2011

Walking Dead Season 2 Debuts With Huge Ratings

The Walking Dead debuted last night to huge ratings. 7.3 million to be exact, shattering last year's premiere of 5.3 million. This makes AMC's decision to slash the show's budget, not to mention Frank Darabont, even more mind boggling. Some have said that The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad have been victims of Matthew Weiner and Mad Men. According to Kurt Sutter, creator of Sons of Anarchy,

"[Weiner] held AMC hostage, broke their bank, budgets were slashed, s#*% rolled down hill onto [Breaking Bad creator Vince] Gilligan and Frank. No one else wants to f*#&@!$* say it, but the greed of Mad Men is killing the other two best shows on TV -- Breaking Bad and Walking Dead." Sutter claims that AMC has now alienated writers hoping to work with the network, but he's sure to note, "I don't know [Weiner], got no beef with him. Just hate that Darabont is being demonized. No one has the balls to tell the truth. [Mad Men] gutted AMC." [@SutterInk/Twitter]
Io9 reported that to save money AMC hopes to take the zombie out of the zombie-based show. AMC would prefer that the cast do more of their scenes indoors. Thus, the zombies could be seen and not heard. Have the execs at AMC even read the graphic novels? They have had several pit stops on the way, but the majority of this show should take place outside, as the characters are constantly on the move. 
But this source says that AMC had its own ideas about how to make the show more cheaply.The show shoots for eight days per episode, and the network suggested that half should be indoors. "Four days inside and four days out?That's not Walking Dead," says this insider."This is not a show that takes place around the dinner table."That was just one of what this person describes as "silly notes" from AMC.Couldn't the audience hear the zombies sometimes and not see them, to save on makeup?The source says Darabont fought "a constant battle to keep the show big in scope and style."
Here's hoping that last night's huge premiere restores sanity to AMC's executives. Don't get me wrong, Mad Men is a great show, but Mad Men season 4 premiered with 2.9 million, which is a far cry from The Walking Dead's premiere of 7.3 million. When it comes down to it, ratings are king.


  1. Oops, I forgot all about the premiere yesterday.

  2. I thought Walking Dead was ok but not great. I'll try episode 1 of season 2 but if it doesn't deliver I won't watch the rest.

  3. I have it on my DVR, but haven't watched yet. Let's hope the studio heads don't destroy this show.

  4. Totally missed the premiere, it looks good though.

  5. It was awesome! I gasped out loud at the end.

  6. A show like Walking Dead will always be second class because it's a supernatural show which means niche market to execs. Look at how NBC shoved BSG over to their Sy Fy network,even after high ratings for the two part miniseries, dismissing it as too niche when in fact it consistently beat everything NBC aired on Friday nights. Besides, Frank was never "in" with management. :)

  7. Ratings are usually important, but I think AMC is going more for an impression of high quality and Mad Men gives them that far more than a show about zombies or meth dealers. Mad Men is what wins them all the Emmys. (For what it's worth - I am not a fan of any of the three shows, so I'm not defending Mad Men.)

    I tried the first two episodes of Walking Dead, but it didn't do much for me (not my genre.) The first episode was 28 Days Later, the second episode was Dawn of the Dead, and the previews for the third episode looked like it was going to be Night of the Living Dead. Yes, copying the classics is a safe way to go, but I guess with all the hype before the first season premiered I was expecting more.

  8. Heard about this on several blogs yesterday but yours was the best as it came with the good back story. Thanks.

  9. I've heard persistent rumors that Matthew Weiner is a douchebag. I guess this sort of confirms it.

  10. Bonjour-- Check it out. Let me know what you think.

    Ricky- I thought the 1st season could have been better. They also had so few episodes (only 6), which I don't think was enough. I thought the 1st episode of season 2was pretty good. The thing to remember about The Walking Dead is that it's a drama about people dealing with zombies, not zombies themselves.

    Alex- I'm with you. I really hope that AMC wises up to where they need to put some extra money.

    A-- It was a great episode. You should check it out. The first few scenes were amazing.

    Christine-- I did too. I read the graphic novels, but I must have forgotten some of what happened. I didn't remember that at all. That's what I like about the series they keep us guessing and don't just follow the novels verbatim. My husband and I pulled the novels and yes the last scene was pulled directly out of the books, but they did it differently, which was great.

    Melissa-- Thanks for the reminder about BSG. You're so right. BSG did premiere on NBC didn't it? I completely forgot about that. I didn't watch it when it originally premiered. I think you're right the networks don't give genre shows their due respect, even with huge ratings.

    Chip-- I understand that it's not your genre. There are a lot of great shows/movies that just aren't my bag either, but I'm sure they're great shows.

    With regard to The Walking Dead copying other shows, The Walking Dead actually came out before 28 Days Later and Dawn of the Dead. I think 28 Days Later actually took a lot from The Walking Dead, including the hospital scene. However, you're right everyone owes Romero their very existence.

    Angry Lurker-- Thanks a bunch. I tried to find as much info on this as I could.

    Film Geek-- Ha. Yep, I think this confirms it.

  11. @msmariah - thanks for the info. I was not aware of the timing re the graphic novel and the movie.


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