It’s finally official, Walking Dead fans; the dead will be walking bicoastally. Months after its initial announcement, AMC has picked up the spin-off, committing to two seasons. Much like the series it is spawned from, the first year will test the waters with only six episodes. The second season is slated for a 2016 release.
AMC acknowledges that times are going to get pretty tough soon. Mad Men is heading into its swan song final season. Breaking Bad is about to end. They botched The Killing which resulted in the show being canceled, and Walking Dead is not on 24/7. So they have decided to go back into the well and tap the executive producer of Walking Dead (and The Terminator and Aliens), Gale Anne Hurd, and commission a new series about cult event: Area 51. Yes, you may get excited.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, AMC has decided to add Aliens to its zombies, ad men, and drug lab population. They got the rights for Annie Jacobsen’s best selling book, Area 51, which was just recently published in May. The book is about the never confirmed military installation in Nevada, and looks into the area and the people around that have their thoughts on what is truly going on. The author interviewed several people that served on the base as well others that have been employed at famous secret facility. Obviously there is a lot of potential considering that this was culled from actual servicemen and people’s reports so it will make for a good conspiracy show that will explore into what is or truly isn’t out there in the desert or the great beyond in the sky. The series will take place in the 1950s-1960s, most likely dealing with the Roswell incident as well as how the base came to be and the lengths to keep it on the down low.
I really dig this because AMC just puts out great stuff (how dare you cancel Rubicon!) and their track record on just going after shows that are not typical of network television, and pushing the envelope makes me excited. If anything, it has the potential to remind of the X-Files and the conspiracy and the mythology of aliens that we lack on television today. Between this and Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman’s new comic adaptation Thief of Thieves, we might have a few viable replacements in the near future.
One of them, however, will NOT be The Killing. AMC has decided to cancel the show due to falling viewership and lack of interest according to EW. This really is not a shocking move considering the gimmick of the show was to find out who killed Rosie Larsen and they could not answer that in the first season, thus pissing off viewers that felt like it was drawn out unnecessarily. They did at least reveal the end of that story by the end of the second season, but it was too late. Ratings went from 2.7 million viewers when the series premiered, to 1.8 million for the second season premiere, and down to 1.4 million for the last season (series) finale. [Ed. Note – For the record, I feel like this is more of an indictment on the audience in the Law & Order/CSI world we live in. This is the same formula used by Twin Peaks 20 years ago and that show is still praised to this day…]
There is still hope however as Fox Television Studios, who makes the show, plans on shopping around to other networks so who knows, maybe we will see the show given new life on FX or TNT. Granted, this would also require someone to actually care, but I never watched the second season so I cannot judge whether it was good or not. [Point.] Thoughts people? Should it be saved or was there reason to abandon the show after they botched their relationship with viewers? Also, for Area 51, is it too much to ask for a shot of Will Smith punching an alien saying, “Welcome to Earf!”? Maybe while performing Summertime? Just saying, you were thinking about it too…