Earlier this week, The Los Angeles Times wrote a piece suggesting that the AMC brand — once defined by prestige dramas like Breaking Bad and Mad Men — has morphed into a network now known almost exclusively for The Walking Dead. Granted, it still airs a fantastic Breaking Bad spin-off in Better Call Saul (which picked up a number of Emmy nominations this year), Preacher (entering its final season) and The Terror, but it really is largely defined by its The Walking Dead universe.
In fact, The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead now airs during 32 weeks of the year combined, and that number may jump to 48 if the next The Walking Dead spin-off also receives 16 episode seasons, meaning a The Walking Dead series could air every Sunday of the year except for four. (The Rick Grimes movies, at least, will screen theatrically). I’m not even sure when AMC will squeeze in the new spin-off, but my guess is that it will air next April, after the tenth season of The Walking Dead but before the recently announced sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead.
A few new details are also beginning to surface regarding the new spin-off. For instance, it now has a working title, Monument, which is not likely to stick. Fear the Walking Dead, if you’ll recall, operated under the working title Cobalt, and I still have no idea what that means, so Monument may or may not have anything to do with the storyline. However, “The Walking Dead” may not be incorporate into its title, as the series is expected to have its own tone and identity.
We also received a short logline when the series was announced, essentially stating that it would center on two young women who are among the first generation to come of age in the zombie apocalypse. We also now know who has been cast in the lead roles on the series, Alexa Mansour and The Americans’ Annet Mahendru.
This week, we also learned an interesting detail about the pilot, which is scheduled to begin shooting in August in Hopewell, Virginia. According to a Comicbook.com, local residents of Hopewell received a news release announcing that the production would be filming a massive plane crash. A fuselage was delivered to the area, and residents were told that streets would be shut down for filming.
A major plane crash in a pilot is not unheard of. In fact, that’s how the Lost pilot began. Plane crashes are also not foreign to The Walking Dead universe: The fifth season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead opened with a small plane crash, while the Fear the Walking Dead web series, Flight 462, also tracked a plane crash. The fuselage is from a 737, which means the plane has a capacity of 85-215 passengers. It’s possible that the six actors listed as cast members for Monument will be the only survivors. If planes are still operating, it also suggests that the spin-off may return again to the earlier days of the zombie apocalypse, at least in a flashback.
We’ll know more when Monument debuts next year. In the meantime, Fear the Walking Dead returns on August 11th and The Walking Dead‘s tenth season kicks off in October.