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AMC hands Walking Dead spin-off global run

The Walking Dead Companion UnitAMC Global has acquired the spin-off of zombie drama The Walking Dead, which has received a double-season order on the flagship AMC channel in the US.

The Walking Dead companion series, which has been dubbed both Cobalt and Fear the Walking Dead but remains untitled, will broadcast on AMC Global channels around the world less than 24 hours after the US premiere.

AMC Global, which launched late last year after rebranding from MGM Channel, acquired the show from AMC Networks stablemate AMC Studios, which produces it and owns all rights.

AMC Global is now on air in 115 territories throughout Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

The series is a spin-off of AMC’s mega ratings smash The Walking Dead set in Los Angeles and will be set during the early days of the zombie virus outbreak. It will star Cliff Curtis (Gang Related), Kim Dickens (Sons of Anarchy), Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam.

Season one will run to six episodes, as the original series did, and premiere late this summer. Season two is set to air in 2016.

The deal means Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman now has four shows for US cable, the others being Walking Dead talk show The Talking Dead and upcoming Cinemax series Outcast.

He will executive produce the new show with Walking Dead EPs Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero and David Alpert, plus pilot co-creator Dave Erickson (Marco Polo, Sons of Anarchy), who is also showrunner.

“With Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson at the helm, along with an amazing group of executive producers and cast, this new series will give The Walking Dead fans what they’ve been asking for all along – a look at another part of the zombie apocalypse and one which takes us back to the very beginning of the plague,” said AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll.

“We feel empowered by this two-season commitment, a serious show of faith from our network partner AMC,” added Kirkman. “I personally take it as a sign that they believe, like we do, that we’ve accomplished our goal of developing something original that can pay tribute to the original show and expand the world I created while at the same time having something new to say with this story.”

In related news, Fox International Channels, which airs The Walking Dead internationally, has acquired after-show The Talking Dead as a one-off episode to run after the fifth season finale on March 30.