For AMC, the Worst Is Coming This Fall

If history holds, The Walking Dead will once again set record ratings for AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX  ) when Season 4 makes its debut this October.

How can I be sure? Because, as is his style in the comics, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has a way of making sure the next story is more gruesome, more awful, and more terrifying than the last. Season 4 will be another adrenaline-booster.

"Things are definitely going to be WAY crazier. It's an escalation. I mean, the world is getting worse, the people are getting more ragged, there's more terrible things happening," Kirkman said in a Friday afternoon panel discussion at San Diego Comic-Con. "Things are going to keep progressing, if you can believe that."

Anyone who doesn't take Kirkman at his his word must not watch the show or read the comics that started it all. Still skeptical? Watch the trailer, if you can stomach the sight of zombies and kill shots:

Sources: YouTube, AMC Networks.

In many ways, The Walking Dead is a reminder of the sorts of fare that established AMC in the first place. Classic and new horror films still have a home on the network's "Fear Friday." The difference is that TWD isn't so much a horror show as it is a human story set in horrific conditions.

For example, actor David Morrissey plays a character called "The Governor" who justifies brutality in the name of survival in a world gone mad. He'll be back to torment the main cast in Season 4.

"He's still out there," Kirkman said at Comic-Con. "But how he returns, when he returns, and what he's doing when he returns is going to be a pretty big mystery this season."

The Governor gets ready for war in Season 3 of The Walking Dead. Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC.

Among rival networks, only HBO and Showtime have shown a consistent willingness to push boundaries as much as AMC has with The Walking Dead. Count Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX  ) among the rare exceptions. Hemlock Grove with its werewolves and Orange Is the New Black with its dark depiction of prison life both take joy in tormenting the squeamish.

But these are the exceptions, and that means AMC is likely to keep drawing in millions of viewers who enjoy its darker tales. Are you among them? Leave a comment to let us know what you think of the show and AMC stock.

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Read/Post Comments (9) | Recommend This Article (6)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 3:52 PM, mrsartz wrote:

    I started watching TWD faithfully from the 4th episode of the 1st season. I watched the 1st 3 recorded episodes just in time to be all caught up.

    I started watching it because it has zombies in it and I'm a lover of all zombie related stuff and thangs. =D Then I realized that Norman Reedus is in it and I was already a fan of his since The Boondock Saints.

    There are some awesome walker kills. There's plenty of drama to go around and all of the actors do a wonderful job at making us either love or hate their characters. The writers, directors, producers, makeup artists, set designers and wardrobe staff all do a great job at making us become completely absorbed and sucking us into this world of the walking dead.

    Yep, I'd say they got me hook, line and sinker. It's the only show on TV that I make sure I'm home to watch. Can not wait til October 13th! #WalkerWithdrawals

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 5:38 PM, Dragonslayre1 wrote:

    I first started reading the graphic novels (calling them comics is some what degrading) I was hooked. I had doubts.. Huge doubts that AMC could pull this off without slicing it into a terrible mess leaving Kirkman's prize possession on the editing floor. Glad I was wrong and between the fans and ratings proves that. I am surprised that there are so many that are faithful to the show that hasn't read a single issue of Kirkman's graphic masterpiece. You don't know what you're missing!

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 5:52 PM, L0NGTIME wrote:

    The tv series pales in comparison to the comic books and the Telltale video games. From characters that were ruined and wasted (Andrea) to the numerous characters who died and should still be alive, or vice versa. They have really dropped the ball on this one.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 6:09 PM, mrsartz wrote:

    Dragonslayre1 I never read the comics or graphic novels until I read the comic book synopses online. I didn't want to read the comic books at first because I was afraid it would ruin it for the show. Turns out that wasn't the case since Mr Kirkman makes sure to leave the fans not knowing what's going to happen next. I think I like that idea tho I see it really upsets hardcore comic book/graphic novel fans.

    I would like to purchase the graphic novels and add them to my bookcase but first things first...I need to find out what order the books were released in. Not too hard. I know. When I'm ready to invest in the books I'll simply google it.

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 6:36 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:


    >>I first started reading the graphic novels (calling them comics is some what degrading) I was hooked.

    No it isn't. The Walking Dead was serialized as a comic book first, was later collected into trade paperback form, and is now a top seller in digital. And yeah, a TV show too.

    I get that there are preconceived notions about what comics are and can be. The truth is that comic books are just a form of storytelling that's driven by sequential art (i.e., panel by panel).

    Try some other comics. I'll bet you will find very satisfying stories. At the very least, pick up Kirkman's Thief of Thieves.

    FWIW and Foolish best,



    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 6:43 PM, clp2473 wrote:

    I know a lot of people love the zombie aspect but what I find most entertaining is evolution of the people and how they become who they are in this new apocalyptic world. It's raw animal survival and how do you keep humanity in a world like that? It's great story telling with some zombie gore thrown in. Who could ask for more?

  • Report this Comment On July 28, 2013, at 9:03 PM, taug99 wrote:

    Is AMC going to discontinue the JAVELIN, AGAIN ?

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2013, at 12:55 AM, Filmmaster49 wrote:

    AMC Sucks. Ever since their format changes and got rid of Clooney and went commercial(and lots of 'em) I quit. Every 10 min or so-there is a commercial. Like watching a network station. They "edit" the hell out of their movies. So I say to "H" with AMC.

  • Report this Comment On July 29, 2013, at 8:17 AM, Bogus59 wrote:

    This is the most intense show on television now. And a must see for me every week when it airs. A good sign of how well the show is done is that I'm nervous before every new ep, wondering who may or may not survive.

    I read the trade paperback compilations up through the prison storyline. When I saw the ads for the series, I thought it looked familiar. But they are 2 different storylines - reading the comics doesn't spoil the show.

    At the time the show premiered, I was getting burned out on zombies - nearly as much as angsty teen vampires and werewolves. But I gave the show a try & it hooked me from the opening scene.

    I do miss the old AMC when they really showed classics with no commercials. Fortunately, TCM is there to fill the gap. But then we probably wouldn't have TWD or "Hell On Wheels".

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