AMC greenlights two new pilots…and, yes, one of them is “The Walking Dead”

Only days after further talking up their upcoming new series, “Rubicon,” at the TCA press tour, AMC has announced two pilot orders: “The Walking Dead,” based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, and “The Killing,” based on a Danish TV series entitled “Forbrydelsen.” Both pilots go into production in second quarter 2010.

“The Walking Dead” tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse, following a group of survivors who travel in search of a safe and secure home; the series…well, the comic book series, anyway…explores the challenges of life in a world overrun by zombies who take a toll on the survivors, where the interpersonal conflicts sometimes present a greater danger to their continuing survival than the zombies that roam the country. Kirkman has signed on to serve as an executive producer on the series, and Frank Darabont (“The Shawshank Redemption,” “The Green Mile,” “The Mist”) has signed on to write, direct and executive-produce. Other EPs on the project include Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert.

“The Killing,” meanwhile, ties together three distinct stories by a single murder and as the detectives assigned to the case disagree about the best course of action, they chase down a variety of leads and suspects; along the way, there are major repercussions for the victim’s family, the detectives, the suspects, and the local politicians connected to the case. The series is to be written and executive-produced by Veena Sud (“Cold Case”), along with Mikkel Bondesen (“Burn Notice”) and Kristen Campo.

“’The Walking Dead’ and ‘The Killing’ are alone in their class in terms of the quality of the storytelling,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC’s senior vice president of original programming, production and digital content, in a press release issued by the network. “Both have remarkable talent behind them, and present that rare opportunity to raise the bar significantly within a genre. It is a very exciting next step in our continuing commitment to presenting smart, sophisticated storytelling with broad appeal.”

  

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