Adored by the Network / Screwed by the Network: A very odd case, given how much The Walking Dead flip flops between the two. On the one hand, AMC runs marathons of the show much more frequently than their otherhitshows, has a discussion panel after new episodes air with The Talking Dead, and even aired an altered black and white version of the pilot episode to reflect the comic's visual style, due to popular demand from the fanbase. Given the show's very high ratings for a cable network, none of this is a surprise. On the other hand, as of 2012, two showrunners have been released from The Walking Dead over behind-the-scenes issues. The exit of [Season 3 showrunner] Glen Mazzarra was a head scratcher for fans, given that the show drastically improved between Seasons 2 and 3. While it is clear that this series is AMC's ratings making baby, the executive decisions look series destroying, which has fans worried. Still, the ratings keep growing, as do the marathons.
Maggie is 22-23, while actress Lauren Cohan is 30.
Beth is 16-18. Emily Kinney is 28.
Dyeing for Your Art: Michael Rooker has been a pretty big guy for years, and was perfect for Merle in Season 1. He then lost twenty pounds to play Merle post-amputation in Season 3.
Enforced Method Acting: The Talking Dead recap for the episode Prey revealed that this was used to great effect in the warehouse scene between Andrea and The Governor. Laurie Holden had the general idea of what David Morrisey was going to do in the scene but had no clue WHEN he was going to do it. As a result her surprised reactions when he busted out the glass and his all around creepiness were all real.
Executive Meddling: Conflicts with AMC regarding the second season's budget eventually resulted in the departure of pilot director and first season showrunner Frank Darabont.
Fake American: English actors Andrew Lincoln, Lennie James, David Morrissey ,and Lauren Cohan play, respectively, Rick Grimes, Morgan, The Governor, and Maggie Greene.
Lauren Cohan is technically a subversion: She has a British accent due to living in the U.K. for a while, but she was born in America (and thus isn't a "fake" American).
Fan Nickname: Several so far, either from the internet or from tie-in show Talking Dead:
Hershel's God shotgun from Beside The Dying Fire — Hershel fired many more shots from his shotgun than is possible without reloading.
The walker bomb from Home — the Governor sent a truck full of walkers crashing through the prison's front gate.
The sex garage — Maggie pulled Glenn into a garage and...just guess.
Despite only appearing in one episode, Clara immediately earned the moniker Creepy Clara.
McLeaned: Dale. Jeffrey DeMunn, who was a long-time collaborator and friend with showrunner Frank Darabont, asked to be written out when Darabont was axed. He later had second thoughts, but by then it was too late.
Reality Subtext: As explained in this interview (spoilers, obviously), Sarah Wayne Callies was informed of Lori Grimes' death while working at a refugee camp in Thailand, preoccupied with "issues about medical care and gender safety." This makes Lori's Death by Childbirth — a fate that modern medical technology has largely eliminated in the Western world, but which is still all too common in places like a Thai refugee camp — all the more ironic.
Shrug of God: What caused the outbreak? Kirkman is on record for saying it will never be stated.
Spoiler: The details of the Blu-Ray release of the second season were released before Season 2 was over. The blurb said that the release included Shane's last episode. Non spoiler news story here.
The barn's collapse in the second season finale was not scripted.
In After, Michonne slaughters an entire herd of over a dozen walkers on her own. Originally, she was scripted to kill only eight walkers onscreen, but director Greg Nicotero was so impressed by her performance he kept letting the scene run. Since she never heard the word "Cut!", Danai Gurira just rolled with it and kept attacking the walkers.
Had Frank Darabont not been fired, the second-season premiere (as indicated in preview trailers, leaked information from various sources and deleted scenes in the Season 2 boxset) would have resolved the Vatos plotline introduced in the first season episode of the same name. After leaving the CDC, Shane almost gets overtaken by a horde of walkers when his car breaks down, and is saved by Dale and Rick in the RV. With limited options, the group goes to the Vatos camp to warn them that things are much worse than they expected. They find the retirement home overrun (with Guillermo and the rest of the Vatos recently killed), and proceed to take down every walker in the vicinity before having to hide until the morning. The encounter with the horde of walkers on the highway is the only major remnant of the original premiere (as most of the footage was, according to AMC, "unusable") — in total, just 1/3 of the filmed material remained. The Vatos resolution also counts as an Aborted Arc.
In addition to this, there was another series of webisodes planned which would have explained the story of the soldier walker in the tank; who, as it turns out, was played by Sam Witwer. But with Frank Darabont being fired, his plan for this fell through. According to Witwer, there were dozens of other little things like this that Darabont had plans for in the future.
John Hawkes was offered the role of The Governor, but turned it down due to misgivings about taking a part on network TV.
Axel's actor revealed that Axel was originally written as a serial killer who would kidnap one of the group members after being freed from the prison.
Morgan was supposed to reappear in Season 2, but it was delayed due to Lennie James having a busy schedule.
According to variousaccounts, the deaths of Andrea/Milton in Welcome to the Tombs were intended to be completely different. The episode would have begun with Milton being unexpectedly shot in the stomach in the torture room by The Governor, and left to bleed out while Andrea is still tied up. There would have been more scenes of Milton trying to open the door, along with trying to choke Andrea with a chain in order to spare her from being eaten alive. The subplot was supposed to end with Milton turning, being shown taking a bite out of Andrea's chest, and Tyreese discovering her and shooting Milton. The subplot was eventually reshot for the broadcast version, and the only remnant left of the original plan is Tyreese saying to Sasha that he's going to look around in Woodbury.
George A. Romero was asked if he wanted to write for The Walking Dead, but declined, as the zombies in the show aren't used for the satire or political criticism that Romero uses them for.
Kirkman revealed that there were plans to kill off Hershel as early as Season 2.
Thomas Jane was originally intended to star, when Darabont pitched the show.
Creator Robert Kirkman stated that in the universe of the TV show, George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead was never created, and there was consequently never a boom of Zombie Apocalypse pop culture like in our world. This is why the word "walker" is more commonly used, as none of the characters have any knowledge of the concept of "zombies" in the modern sense of the term.
According to Talking Dead, Otis was the one who found and corralled the undead Sophia into Hershel's barn, but Shane killed Otis before Otis knew of a missing girl in the group, meaning that the whole search and Daryl's near death was all for naught.
Enforced Method Acting: During an episode of "Playing Dead" Bonnie's voice actress, Erin Yvette, said she had no idea Bonnie was scouting the Cabin for Carver when she was recording the scene where Walter gave her food in "A House Divided". Later, in "In Harm's Way", Bonnie said Carver didn't tell her beforehand that he was going to hold up The Cabin group like he did. It's probable Tell Tale didn't tell Erin what Bonnie was doing because Bonnie didn't know what she was doing.
I Knew It: Many called Kenny being alive after seeing the previews for the second episode in Season 2. Heck even before then as we never really see him die at the end of Season 1's fifth episode.
Many guessed Carlos was going to die in Epsode 3 after they saw Sarah screaming in the trailer.
Name's the Same: The Adam Harrington that plays Andy St. John isn't the same actor who plays Roy Earle in L.A. Noire (that would be Adam John Harrington, who's primarily a stage and screen actor, the other Adam Harrington works almost exclusively as a video game VA).
Playing Against Type: Roger L. Jackson as Chuck, the hobo in Episode 3 who's a clearly benevolent, well-composed character as opposed to the hammy villains Jackson usually plays.
Prop Recycling: Kenny and the Stranger's cars can be seen driving by in the first scene of episode 1.
The Video Game has a number of Dummied Out lines still hidden inside the games files;
Episode 2 includes conversations between Danny and Lee, which state that Danny used to be an insurance salesman and once practiced taxidermy on his Mother's Cat (for a "Mother's Day Gift"). There's also a nightmare sequence where Doug/Carley (or rather, Lee's Conscience) berates Lee for not saving him/her in the previous episode.
The writers were thinking of cutting Clementine before Melissa Hutchinson caught the role due to having difficulties finding an actor for the character and the fact child characters are often disliked in video games.