"The Walking Dead" was almost "Law and Order" but with zombies, and we're LOLing right now
AMC’s hit series The Walking Dead is about to start Season 7, but way back at the very beginning, it was almost a very different type of show. According to Variety, the show’s creator Frank Darabont presented the first version of the script to NBC — with whom he had an overall deal — before AMC picked up the show domestically. NBC obviously passed on the project, and according to producer Gale Ann Hurd NBC’s reason for passing was this response: “Do there have to be zombies [in it?]”
After Darabont presumably told them that, yes, that’s kind of the point, NBC apparently asked him whether the show could be a procedural. In it, according to Hurd, the two primary protagonists of the show would “solve a zombie crime of the week.”
Of course, while zombies are essential to the premise of the show (we seriously want to know what in that initial script made NBC think the show didn’t need a zombie apocalypse as the inciting incident??), it’s really about people, and how they evolve to cope with the world in which they live.
Said Hurd, “What attracted me to [Robert Kirkman’s] comic-book series is that it is a story about characters on a journey into this new world, and constantly trying to figure out not only how to survive but what’s important to them, and some characters give up, some characters commit suicide, and they are constantly evolving, they are constantly meeting new characters; they have to determine friend or foe, and very quickly we realize that it is not the zombies you have to be afraid of, it’s the other humans.”
Of course, the tagline for TWD’s third season was, “Fight the dead, fear the living,” and in this upcoming season, that aspect of the show won’t be any different. Hurd has said Neegan, who will be actively murdering one of the show’s main protagonists at the opening of season, will be a “game-changer.” Yet, he’s also another human that Rick, Michonne, and Co. have to fear.
We can’t wait for season seven (it premieres Sunday, October 23rd); in the meantime, though, we’ll amuse ourselves by imagining NBC’s version of Law and Order, only with zombies. Actually, we’d totally watch that now if someone wants to make it.