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134 Posts in 27 Topics by 26 members

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Forums » General Discussion » AMC Spinoffs

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  • RevenantThings
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    AMC Spinoffs Link to this post

    Hey Robin,

    I just wanted to get your thoughts on the recent announcements of a Walking Dead and Breaking Bad/Saul Goodman spinoff. Will you be covering these? Do you think AMC is desperate to hold onto the shows that are working for them now because they're scared they don't have compelling material or new ideas to air after these shows go off the air? The fact that they're splitting Mad Men's final season in half over a year all but confirms this to me. I mean yeah it doubled Breaking Bad's ratings but it's also a brilliant stall tactic. A win- win for AMC I guess.

  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: AMC Spinoffs Link to this post

    Great question. On the AMC side of things I don't have more insight than you. What I understand is that they aren't really looking to promote more creators with the vision and independence that Vince Gilligan and Matt Weiner enjoyed. The difficult contract negotiations and all the changes at "The Walking Dead" seem to imply that AMC are budget conscious and are interfering more and more.

    So yes they are squeezing every drop out of their established properties which makes sense. But I'm not sure it means we get more quality television.

    "The Walking Dead" spinoff is something I joked about on the podcast. Why not have a "TWD: Miami" or whatever. In theory you think "that's great, they will learn from their mistakes and cast a bunch of characters you actually care about and make the show really work." But it's very rare in television that lessons are learned like that. Chances are the new spinoff will be on a smaller budget to see if people will just flock to see more zombies. I also doubt even half of the audience will watch a second show. I expect a lot of people will see it as a knock off and a cynical attempt to cash in even if it is better. Of course if the original TWD series were to finish and then the new one launch, well that could work.

    As for "Better Call Saul" - we need more information. Will it be a comic drama or a comedy? Is Saul capable of being the lead given that he is fairly comfortable being immoral? Where is the moral grey with watching Saul lie and scheme to win big lawsuits? I think a little of Saul goes a long way and so we need way more info before we have any clue of its potential.

  • Fluids
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    Re: AMC Spinoffs Link to this post

    Great post. AMC is probably trying to hold onto as much of the viewership from Walking Dead and Breaking Bad as possible.

    Here's my two cents of the Walking Dead Spinoff and what I think will determine its success:

    *It depends upon which characters are in the spinoff.

    If you go by the traditional corporate entertainment formula (where past success dictates future), AMC may use characters that have shown to be successful in either the comic book series, novels, webisodes or the original show.

    If that is the case AMC may very well bring a large chunk of their Walking Dead audience over to that new show. They then will be able to throw more money at the budget because they will be able to get more money for the advertising space in the commercials.

    Some candidates from the original Walking Dead could be: Carol, the Morales Family, Morgan or even Lilly and Tara. From the webisodes it could be Lori Grime's brother Chase.

    All those folks could easily lead hard core fans to the steps of the new show.

    That being said, Robert Kirkman has indicated a few months ago that this new show will contain only new characters for the new series. In either case good characters will make or break it.

    *It depends where the story is to take place.

    The original Walking Dead is set in a very specific area with specific characterization.

    I agree with Robin. AMC literally could take the show anywhere and keep going with other characters.
    It's wide open. However, if they are budget conscious and there is shared properties between the two shows it may also restrict the location choices to Georgia.

    Some locations would be of more curiosity then others. For instance, major cities, government facilities, public works (dams, power centers,etc) are definitely more interesting places to tell stories over a small town in the country side.

    Robert Kirkman has indicated it won't take place in Georgia.

    *It depends who is in charge of the project and the overall goals of the spinoff and the writing choices.

    Will the spin off somehow feed into the main show?
    Is Robert Kirkman involved as far as show writer?
    (The answer to that question is most likely yes. Kirkman loves his universe and will probably be there on set.)

    What comes to mind here is the second season mini arc of the TV show 'Lost' with the Tail section survivor episodes. All new characters that complement characters already introduced (In the case of the TWD spinoff, Lori's brother Chase would do well if this is what happens.)

    *The Robert Kirkman factor.

    The thing also to bear in mind is the mind of Robert Kirkman. He has been very clever about how he has handled his universe. Each medium: TV; comics; webisodes; and novels have different characters; storylines; and action beats. He's very excited about the possibilities in each medium and it shows.

    As an example, to me Carol in the TV show is more like Andrea in the Comic book in terms of her personality and behavior.

    He has used bits of the governor novels for the governor episodes in the first half of the season four of the TV show.

    I can tell you as a fanboy (having read all 118 comic books to date, all the novels and seen all the walking dead shows and webisodes) I have never been quite able to predict where the TV show is going exactly. That's what I love about the TV show. (That also applies to the comic books, novels and webisodes. I have always felt the way the characters in each of these mediums have felt when they get surprised in a new situation.) If the new show is the same way then I am definitely watching.

    All of these things are equally important, however I put them in the order of what I believe would bring about the most success.

    Happy Holidays!

  • TheTVCritic
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    Re: AMC Spinoffs Link to this post

    Happy holidays

    I do think they should aim for somewhere other than Georgia at a minimum.

    As you've pointed out there are so many possibilities they could go for. I know nothing more than you but I would guess they will stick to the formula of a group on the run rather than attempt something very different.

    One thing which amused me to think about is if AMC makes its decisions based on ratings and money then logically they should aim to have the 2 surviving groups meet up at some point. You can imagine the advertising: "The Greatest Event in Television History. Two groups meet but only one can survive!" Then they could aim to get a mega-audience to watch the season finale of The Walking Dead, possibly even the series finale as the 2 groups come face to face. That could be a good end for TWD. Any characters they want to keep could transfer to the new show and everyone else would die in some tragic misunderstanding.

  • Fluids
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    Re: AMC Spinoffs Link to this post

    I think your idea about the group on group battle would be great for ratings based decisions.

    In the current show offering that's one aspect they could do more with. That would bring the feeling of hope for humanity to the show that everyone is craving and at the same time crank up the dimensions of terror that are possible to the survivors we have grown to know.

    There *has to be* more groups out there like Rick's group that have survived that long with the same or better fighting skills. Where are they? There was a hint of one in Episode 7 of Season Three when Woodbury 2.0 scouting party came across the ravaged campers site.

    Group interplay on top of the zombies is what I think takes the show to another level.

    One of my hopes was that there was either a group of very well trained doomsday preppers or computer nerds that have gotten the skills of killing zombies down cold and are using them like the governor has done as weapons or for purposes that serve the 'greater good' of the community. (I keep thinking about the Governor with his truckload of walkers for the first prison attack and the mock arena fights.)

    One of the things I loved about 'Lost' was all the different groups and their interactions. It also added terror to the show (the kidnapping of Walt and other children, etc...)

    It also fascinated me endlessly because it kept reinforcing the mystique of the island (Why are all these groups here fighting over control of this place?)

    I agree with you about the spinoff Walking Dead location as well. They definitely need to set the new show in a place that is a stark contrast to the current show.

    It sets the tone that this is something entirely different.

    Cheers!

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