Apocalyptic zombie thriller 'The Walking Dead' is a modern TV juggernaut. The hit show from AMC has shattered cable ratings, spawned a spin-off — 'Fear the Walking Dead' — and even inspired a new format in cable: the live post-show commentary 'Talking Dead,' hosted by Chris Hardwick.
What sparked the phenomenon? Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd recently sat down with BINGE to offer some insight into why this serialized horror show draws such mass appeal.
According to Hurd, it was no accident; America seems to love the creepy and ghoulish: "AMC was looking to fill a particular niche. And it's not one that most of us were aware of at the time, which is that their most successful block of programming was not necessarily 'Mad Men' or then Breaking Bad," she said. "It was 'Fear Fest,' where they aired for the two weeks leading up to Halloween, classic horror films ... So they thought, 'If we're going to launch something, it should be in the horror genre.'"
Horror has worked for Gale Anne Hurd in the past. She co-created the Terminator franchise, which has generated nearly $2 billion in global box-office receipts, as well as the classic horror sequel 'Aliens.' 'The Walking Dead' has been the highest-rated show on television for four straight years, averaging 18.4 million viewers in Season 6, according to data from Nielsen.