NBC wanted 'The Walking Dead,' but without the zombies
AMC's The Walking Dead is a show about humans trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Without zombies it wouldn't be The Walking Dead, but apparently that's what NBC was aiming for when it was thinking about picking up the show many years ago.
Fans are gearing up for the premiere of Season 7 of The Walking Dead on October 23 and while it's had a great run on AMC, it could have gone down a very different path had the producers not stuck their ground. Both NBC and HBO were looking to adapt Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore's Image comic back in the day but NBC had some very peculiar changes in mind.
Variety reported on executive producer Gale Anne Hurd's visit to the Edinburgh International Television Festival where she explained what they wanted. And it's terrible.
Before the show was picked up by AMC for domestic and Fox for international, its creator Frank Darabont presented the first version of the script to NBC, with whom he had an overall deal. According to Hurd, their response was, “Do there have to be zombies [in it].” NBC then asked Darabont if the show could be a procedural in which the two main protagonists would “solve a zombie crime of the week,” she said.
We'll thankfully never know what those two, very different series would have looked like but here's another way it could have gone.
Now that's scary.