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'Walking Dead': Zombies Thrive on Weak Economy

AMC's smash hit series the "Walking Dead" is one of the biggest things on cable and economic uncertainty may be one reason why, creator Robert Kirkman told CNBC on Friday.

"I've always felt zombies didn't really get their due. As far as movie monsters go you see a lot of vampires, werewolf stuff. And it's just now zombies are getting recognized being as cool as they actually are," Kirkman said.

Kirkman was always a huge fan of zombie fiction. Up until the 'Walking Dead' came out, there had never been a zombie show that actually followed a group of characters through this kind of world.


"It always kind of bugged me that you never got to find out, you know, how people live six months into this world or how they live a year into this world. That's kind of what the walking dead became. It's a long-term exploration of, you know, people trying to survive after the fall of civilization," he said.

The last time zombies were this popular was in the 1980's at the height of the cold war and the creator does not fear over exposure of the zombie trend.

Kirkman believes that times of economic unrest may have something to do with making people gravitate towards shows that make them feel better about their own lives.

"People now are, you know, worrying about how to pay their mortgage and worrying about how they're going to afford groceries and it's nice to sit down on the couch and watch a simpler time, when people are just worried about being chased by zombies. It's really funny," he said.

Source: AMC

The creator and executive producer believes AMC contributes to the success of the show by making the show available to people on multiple platforms.

"You can sit down on Netflix, catch up on old seasons. If you go to amc.com, every now and then, they'll put an episode up there for free. They do marathons, constantly. AMC has been doing a lot of work," to drive in traffic that way, according to Kirkman.

AMC's stock has gone up 25 percent this year.

"I don't know what you would attribute to this performance; maybe it's the 'Walking Dead.' You know, I'm not going to take credit for that, but, yes, it's absolutely just the 'Walking Dead.' It's the only thing driving this stock up," he told CNBC.


Spoiler Alert

Kirkman gave a few hints about the end of the current season.

"It doesn't look good for the governor, I'll say that much," Kirkman said. "I would expect some pretty explosive things and there are going to be a few character deaths, although I'm not going to say exactly who."

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  • With almost 30 years experience in business television, Bill Griffeth is co-anchor of the 3 p.m. ET hour of CNBC's "Closing Bell."

  • Kelly Evans

    Kelly Evans is co-anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell."