Netflix has ordered an eight-episode season of Z Nation spinoff, Black Summer, which will star Hart of Dixie actress Jaime King. Netflix currently holds the streaming rights of Syfy's Z Nation, a post-apocalyptic zombie show.
Created by Karl Schaefer and Craig Engler, Z Nation has aired on Syfy for four seasons, with a fifth season coming in the fall. Set during the zombie apocalypse, the series follows a group of survivors led by Kellita Smith's Lt. Roberta Warren, who sets out to put an end to the zombie virus with the unwilling help of Murphy, a convict who whose blood supposedly holds the cure. In focusing on comedy, the series features plenty of cheesy action scenes, over-the-top gore, and a multitude of gimmicks, like zombie tornadoes.
THR reports that Netflix has ordered Black Summer straight to series. The Z Nation spinoff stars Jaime King as a mother torn from her daughter. King's character has to go on a "harrowing journey" to find her. While surviving alongside a small group of American refugees, she must "brave a hostile new world and make brutal decisions during the most-deadly summer of a zombie apocalypse". Schaefer and Z Nation writer John Hyams will serve as co-showrunners.
Z Nation has been a successful series for Syfy in its four seasons on the network. It remains to be seen how the spinoff will be received on Netflix. It's possible that being on Netflix will allow the series to go in directions that Z Nation couldn't on Syfy, at least in terms of language and violence. However, it's worth noting that Z Nation was never really short on violence or gore.
Unlike The Walking Dead, Z Nation is a series that thrives off of humor more than drama. It never takes itself very seriously, and makes it a habit of constantly introducing another crazy kind of zombie, whether it be a zombie/Frankenstein hybrid, an Elvis impersonator zombie, or a radioactive zombie. Warren and the others regularly come across strange zombies and have to kill them in hilariously cheesy ways. Black Summer could continue that trend on Netflix. The news of a spinoff will, of course, raise the question of a possible crossover between Black Summer and Z Nation. If Black Summer proves to be a success, fans may eventually see King's character teaming up with Warren and her group.