The Walking Dead Companion Series Lands Two Season Order; First Image Arrives

AMC’s top secret companion series to The Walking Dead has been granted a full two season order this week following the completion of its pilot. Word on the matter hails from THR. who reports that “the series is a prequel that takes place in Los Angeles at the onset of the zombie outbreak.”

Since its announcement, the companion series has been dubbed “Cobalt“, a title which it maintained throughout production on the pilot, but that’s expected to change when it debuts in late summer 2015. Much like its mainstay sibling series, the first season will air six hour long episodes with the story set to continue for its second season, which will arrive in 2016.

Details on the story have been kept quashed; excluding the expectation that it will no doubt include a human contingent who battle their way through the apocalypse by dispensing a bunch of violent zombie kills. That squad of survivors includes Cliff Curtis (Gang Related), Kim Dickens (House of Cards, Sons Of Anarchy), Frank Dillane (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), and Alycia Debnam Carey (Into the Woods).

Robert Kirkman, who created The Walking Dead comic series, scribbled the pilot with series’ showrunner Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy), with the pair set to executive produce alongside Walking Dead‘s Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert and VFX brass Greg Nicotero. The involvement of so many creative minds who lent their skills to the original series suggests this won’t be just a rushed spinoff to capitalize on the huge success of TWC. Or at least, we hope that’s the case.

In a statement that accompanied today’s news, AMC president Charlie Collier said:

“We take incredibly seriously the notion of building a satisfying companion series to the No. 1 show on television. From the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, we’ve been asked questions about what was going on in other parts of the zombie apocalypse, and what it looked like as the world really did ‘turn.’ Through this new series, we’re going to find out.

Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson and their writing team, along with an incomparable set of producers, cast and crew have created something remarkable and clearly distinct. We respectfully follow the request of Monty Python as we bring out (the latest of) our Dead.”

In addition, Robert Kirkman issued the following statement:

“We feel empowered by this two-season commitment, a serious show of faith from our network partner AMC. I personally take it as a sign that they believe, like we do, that we’ve accomplished our goal of developing something original that can pay tribute to the original show and expand the world I created while at the same time having something new to say with this story. I’m very grateful that we now have the opportunity to tell this amazing story and show the fans that we really haven’t scratched the surface yet when it comes to The Walking Dead.”

The Walking Dead currently airs on AMC Sunday nights, with the prequel series set to air later this year.