1. There’s still no official title to the series. However, it’s working under the name Cobalt, and at one point, a pilot script leaked, indicating that either the pilot episode’s title was “Fear the Walking Dead,” or the show itself is called Fear the Walking Dead. AMC also labeled this photo “Fear the Walking Dead.”
2. The show will be set in Los Angeles instead of the East Coast.
3. According to Robert Kirkman, who co-wrote the pilot with showrunner Dave Erickson, the “companion series” has no relation whatsoever to Kirkman’s graphic novels. “For the TV spin-off, I’m coming up with that stuff. It’s unrelated to the comics. What’s happening in issue 127 is in no way connected to the spin-off TV show.”
4. The show will debut this summer, and like the original The Walking Dead, the first season will only be six episodes. However, the series has already been picked up for a second season, which will premiere sometime in 2016.
5. The companion series will operate as a kind of prequel to The Walking Dead. It begins during the time that Rick is in a coma on the parent series, which is to say that we will see the origins of the outbreak. According to a leaked pilot script, there will be a lot of chaos and confusion surrounding what exactly the outbreak is, and attempts to contain. The CDC will deny that it’s a zombie infestation, though it will become apparent that that’s exactly what it is. We may also find out the exact origin of the outbreak, which theoretically could offer clues as to how The Walking Dead characters might someday be able to eradicate it.
6. According to Robert Kirkman, you could watch the spin-off without being familiar with the original:
You could watch The Walking Dead spinoff if you’ve never watched an episode of The Walking Dead and get a really great, rich, fulfilling experience out of it. It has to be a show that can stand on its own. I think that’s what we’ve accomplished.
7. We can also expect it to be very different:
I will say that this is going to be a show about family. But it’s going to be a show about a different type of family that we haven’t explored in The Walking Dead thus far. So what we’re trying to do with The Walking Dead spinoff is keep the story as familiar as possible for people that love The Walking Dead, so you’ll get the kind of things that you expect from a Walking Dead story. But, at the same time, we’ll want to tell these stories in a completely different way with completely different people in a completely different setting that’s going to make for a fundamentally different show. I think the look and feel of The Walking Dead spinoff is going to be startlingly different.
8. That “family” consist of a male divorced teacher (played by Cliff Curtis), who is a good man who tries to do right by everyone in his life; and a female guidance counselor (Kim Dickens), who is in a relationship with the teacher. She “looks like the girl next door but has a darkness to her, a troubled past that will come back to haunt her.” Frank Dillane will play the guidance counselor’s son, who has battled a drug addiction; and Alycia Debnam Carey will play her ambitious daughter. (Dillane, by the way, is the son of Stephen Dillane and is best known for his role as Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince).
9. The Nerdist reported that a cast member from the spin-off will appear for six episodes in the next season of The Walking Dead proper. That’s a rumor, however, and doesn’t make sense in the timeline.
10. There’s also been some speculation that Juan G. Pareja — who played Morales in the first season of The Walking Dead — may appear in the spin-off. The speculation was prompted this Pareja tweet:
In case you don’t remember Morales, he’s the guy with the baseball bat.