The Walking Dead is a live action Zombie Apocalypse television series based on the comic of the same name. Like the comic, its story focuses on a group of survivors struggling to stay alive in a world overrun by undead humans. Rick Grimes, the leader of the group, awakens in the hospital from a coma to find everything has gone downhill. He sets out to find his family, and the rest of the show focuses on him and the rest of the characters as they adapt and relate to each other in a terrible new world. Though the survivors face great hardship—not just from the walkers, but also from people who are far worse than the undead—they find that their most vital resources are each other, and the will to survive day by day. The group takes casualties, finds new members, suffers brutal defeats, but they push on, with the hope that things get better, no matter how briefly, beyond the horizon.
The series premiered on October 31st, 2010 on AMC, and was produced by Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd. Glen Mazzara took over as showrunner for seasons 2 and 3, followed by Scott M. Gimple, who oversaw seasons 4-8, with Angela Kang taking the reins starting with season 9. Comic creator Robert Kirkman is also heavily involved with the production, including being the writer for several episodes. The show is currently in its tenth season, which premiered October 6th, 2019, and has been renewed for an eleventh season set to air in fall 2020.
The series has its own homepage. It includes three series of webisodes, the six part Torn Apart, the four part Cold Storage, and the three part The Oath along with other extra content, including online content for the Talking Dead talk show accompanying the series. A fourth series of webisodes titled Red Machete ran alongside Season 8 from fall 2017 to spring 2018. A flash-based adventure game entitled Dead Reckoning is also available on the website, and shows Shane's initial encounters with the walkers when the outbreak begins.
The show's writers are knowingly taking (Creator Approved) liberties with its source material, so comic readers, don't expect to come into this knowing everything beforehand. Word of God says that the intention from the start has been to approach the series as an Alternate Continuity of its own, in which certain events play out differently- sometimes radically so- due to the Butterfly Effect ripples of the additions and subtractions of various characters and events major and minor.
A spinoff, Fear the Walking Dead, premiered in August 2015, and takes place on the west coast of the United States, primarily in Los Angeles in the early days of the Zombie Apocalypse. A Walking Dead character crosses over to Fear in the latter's fourth season note . Additionally, a Robot Chicken special titled Look Who's Walking aired in late 2017, with many of the show's actors reprising their roles.
A second spinoff was announced in 2019, this one following a group of teenagers who grew up in the apocalypse as they leave their sheltered community and head out into an unprotected world of walkers; the series has been compared to Stand by Me in tone. The Walking Dead: World Beyond will debut in spring 2020.
In late 2018, series lead Andrew Lincoln decided to leave the show to spend more time with his familynote . Rick Grimes story will thus continue in a trilogy of films set to begin in 2020; the production schedule for these films has been reported to far better accommodate Lincoln than the show.