AMC has won a bidding war to develop Robert Kirkman's harrowing zombie comic "The Walking Dead" as a potential series project.

The project had originally been developed by Oscar nominee Frank Darabont for NBC, but AMC anted up to give the horror epic a new home.

Darabont will write, direct and executive produce the pilot, with Gale Anne Hurd of Valhalla Pictures and David Alpert of Circle of Confusion also executive producing, according to the industry trade papers.

"Walking Dead" premiered in 2003. In terrifying and unflinching fashion, it follows the survivors of a zombie apocalypse, many of whom quickly learn that those who died quickly were the lucky ones. The story's focus is Rick Grimes, a former police officer, but the series has expanded its scope to focus on dozens of survivors, many of who meet with truly unfortunate ends.  Image comics are dark, gory and infinitely better suited for cable than NBC.

Kirkman has written the entire run of the series. Tony Moore began as artist, but was replaced by Charlie Adlard after issue #7.