In an interesting move, AMC has decided to dip their toe into Bravo-tested waters by considering a new talk show series that would air immediately following their scripted dramas. As a matter of fact, they’ve already commissioned Michael Davies’ Embassy Row Productions, the company behind Bravo’s hit series “Watch What Happens: Live”, to film a “Walking Dead”-themed pilot episode with TV personality Chris Hardwick as host. If they decide to move forward, expect the as-yet-untitled series to air after other AMC original series like “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad”.
As suggested over at Vulture, the decision stems from a desire to retain viewers who normally tune out once the credits roll on new episodes of their original series. Given that talk shows are relatively inexpensive to produce, the network is likely viewing at this as a cheap way to boost audience numbers. Vulture also correctly points out that the hunger for such a “post-game” style series is evident not only from the success of “WWH” but the often-voracious readership of episode recaps on sites like Vulture and Hitfix.
I’ll be curious to see how this pans out for the network. It’s certainly an inspired idea, but scripted series also lack the train-wreck nature of reality TV that makes the latter ripe for the talk-show treatment. Of course, something along the lines of a staged debate between recently-deposed “Walking Dead” showrunner Frank Darabont and AMC original programming head Joel Stillerman could help rectify that.