Finally, there is some good news out of last year's smash hit The Walking Dead. What will surely be to the delight of fans, AMC has announced that the The Walking Dead season 2 premiere on October 16th will be a super-sized 90 minute episode. The network also announced the schedule for the remaining 12-episode season.
AMC will air the following six episodes weekly in The Walking Dead's 9PM Sunday night slot. After a holiday break (zombies make lamentable house guests) the second half of the season will begin on February 12th. International viewers in most countries can catch the premiere on between one and seven days after the US premiere.
The extra run time echoes last year's Halloween pilot, which scored over five million live viewers, making The Walking Dead AMC's most successful premiere ever. Viewership improved across the first season's six episodes, and a second batch was ordered almost immediately. The extra run-time should help soften the nearly year-long wait fans have been enduring since early December.
There have been serious shake-ups with The Walking Dead's writing and production staff, including showrunner Frank Darabont, who has been replaced by producer Glen Mazzara, reportedly due to fiercly conservative budgeting by AMC. The show is AMC's first wholly owned venture (their previous originals Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Rubicon were created with the help of outside production companies), and the network slashed the budget for the series by 25% while ordering more than twice the episodes.
Despite the setbacks, viewer anticipation has reached a fever pitch. The San Diego Comic-Con panel (just a few days before Darabont's departure) played to an audience of thousands, and featured the premiere of the The Walking Dead season 2 trailer.
While The Walking Dead season 1 had a few marked departures from the show's comic book progenitor, we know that its sophomore season will feature some iconic scenes from the source material. Readers will recognize Hershel (played by Scott Wilson) and his farm from a brief glimpse at the end of the full trailer, and you can see what may (or may not) be the jail in one of the four teaser videos released since.
The Walking Dead season 2 lurches back on to AMC at 9PM on October 16th.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelCrider
Source: Coming Soon
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