Netflix has the zombie show for you, whether you are looking for Walkers, shufflers, or supernaturally fast predators.
There’s no doubt the undead have found a happy home on the small screen. And as this selection of series demonstrates, zombies lend themselves to comedy, mystery, and politics as much as horror. When searching for your new favorite zombie series, prepare for a diverse collection, despite the standard Z-names.
The creatures certainly add something extra to an apocalypse, and many series have built themselves around twists to the traditional formula. Some have even found great success by featuring one of the undead as their protagonist.
Zombie series have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and it doesn’t look like the undead hordes will be shuffling off the streamer any time soon. Here are the zombie series you can catch on Netflix right now.
Z Nation (2014 – 2018)
Five seasons of Syfy’s zombie series are waiting for you on Netflix. Follow the adventures of Murphy three years after an apocalypse decimated the planet. As the only known person to have survived a zombie bite, he’s the last hope for a vaccine, and it’s up to a ragtag group of survivors to transport him across from New York to California to make that a reality.
After a frosty reception, the series won a core set of fans with its increasingly inventive and camp approach to horror, despite being packed with thoroughly unlikeable characters. For a further hint about the show’s tone, it’s crossed over with the Sharknado film series on two occasions.
Kingdom (2019 – present)
Netflix’s first original drama from South Korea combines politics and horror in the 16th century – a brilliant mix that has gone down well with critics and audiences. Adapted from the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods, Kingdom tells the story of Crown Prince Lee Chang as he seeks to understand and contain a mysterious plague that is reviving the dead. At the end of the second series, a feature-length special Ashin of the North was released, which explores the origin of the show’s mysterious resurrections.
Black Summer (2019 – present)
Produced by The Asylum, the company behind Z Nation, Black Summer was intended as a prequel show but soon developed into something entirely different. It follows another desperate group surviving at all costs against zombie hoards, but this time it’s the early days of the apocalypse and set during one challenging summer. While Z Nation wrung comedy from its concept, Black Summer is quite the opposite. There are few laughs to be in a show that dwells on the collapse of society. Despite fan hopes, it’s unlikely the two will ever crossover.
Reality Z (2020 – present)
A Brazilian horror show, Reality Z arrived on Netflix in 2020. Inspired by the British miniseries Dead Set (see below), it’s set around the fictional reality show (if you can have such a thing) Olympus, which is interrupted by a zombie outbreak in Rio de Janeiro. It launched with confidence and a teaser trailer that featured Netflix Head of Content Ted Sarandos assuring Olympus presenter Sabrina Sato that everything was fine. Naturally, they weren’t.
Reality Z’s layered concept sees the reality show’s production team directing the action as contestants fight zombie hordes for the benefit of fictional viewers and us. That’s proved a bit too chaotic for some viewers, while others have found the reality twist that contestants impersonate Greek Gods a bit much.
The Last Kids on Earth (2019 – present)
This light-hearted Canadian animation for middle schoolers throws together a group of kids, including 13-year old orphan Jack, when they survive an invasion of zombies and monsters. The show’s seasons are referred to as Books, after the book series that inspired it. By the second volume, the show’s success was measured by the arrival of new voice actors, including Mark Hamill, Catherine O’Hara, Rosario Dawson, and Evil Dead legend Bruce Campbell.
Outside The United States
The Walking Dead (2010 – 2022)
Several seasons of what must be the world’s most successful zombie series are available on regional Netflix services. Following on from Robert Kirkman’s groundbreaking comic series, The Walking Dead’s success led to the strong crop of zombie series on Netflix. While the show’s ‘Walkers’ are stunningly and horrifically realized across its 11 series (and four spin-offs, including Fear the Walking Dead), it explores the danger posed by other humans as the undead themselves. Over the years, The Walking Dead has introduced an enormous ensemble cast and proved that it isn’t afraid to pick any of its leads off. It is guaranteed to be remembered as one of the great zombie apocalypse series.
iZombie (2015 – 2019)
Another series adapted from a successful comic book, iZombie fuses comedy, drama, horror, and crime procedural. The twist here is that Dr. Liv Moore is a Seattle Police medical examiner turned zombie. Far from adding to the problems around her, she can solve murders by eating the brains of victims and temporarily inheriting their skills and memories. You may have seen shows with a similar ‘psychic’ twist, but iZombie develops into something far greater throughout its five seasons. Consistently well-reviewed, it’s a show worth biting into.
Zombie Detective (2020)
If you have a taste for zombie protagonists, this Korean series is well worth a look. Another zombie hiding in plain sight, the twist is that after Kang Min-ho wakes as a zombie, with no memories of his past, he teaches himself to pass as a human and becomes a private detective. When a writer uncovers his secret, what choice do they have but join forces to solve crimes?
Dead Set (2008)
A British oddity, this mini-series paired a zombie outbreak with reality television and inspired Reality Z. Producer Channel Four was broadcasting Big Brother UK at the time, and Dead Set made the most of setting its comedy-horror zombie outbreak on the same sets and involving several faces familiar from the show. Its creator Charlie Brooker followed up Dead Set with Black Mirror, also broadcast on Channel 4 before moving to Netflix.