AMC announced today a live, 90-minute special edition of Talking Dead, featuring 12 cast members - everyone in the final gut-wrenching scene from the Season 6 finale - and executive producers Scott M. Gimple and Robert Kirkman, on Sunday, October 23. In addition to Gimple and Kirkman, Talking Dead will feature guests Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Michael Cudlitz, Sonequa Martin-Green, Chandler Riggs, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Ross Marquand and Jeffery Dean Morgan. Here's what Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios, had to say in his statement.
"As The Walking Dead returns with one of the most powerful and highly anticipated episodes in series history, it feels fitting to literally share this night with the fans whose support have made this show what it is today. As a fan myself, even I crave a supersized Talking Dead to do what it does best - serve as a focal point for fans - along with Chris, the producers and the largest cast the show has ever assembled - to experience, discuss and process together this emotional episode."
Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman and published by Image Comics, The Walking Dead reigns as television's most watched drama for adults 18-49 for the last four years. The Walking Dead tells the story of the months and years that follow after a zombie apocalypse, and follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home. The series, which has been heralded by critics as "an honest-to-God phenomenon" (Variety), is executive produced by Gimple, Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse.
AMC's first live after show, Talking Dead, launched in October 2011 as a way to immediately discuss and recap new episodes of The Walking Dead. Over the second half of the last season, Talking Dead averaged 6.4 million viewers, including 3.8 million adults 18-49 and 4.1 million adults 25-54 in Nielsen Live +3 ratings. The series is executive produced by Michael Davies, Jen Patton and Brandon Monk.
Over 2,000 Dead fans will have the opportunity to win free tickets to a screening of The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere episode at 6:00 p.m. PT (live with the East Coast airing) and Talking Dead taping, hosted by Chris Hardwick, at Los Angeles' iconic Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The "Talking Dead at Hollywood Forever" ticket sweepstakes opens on Tuesday, October 4 at 7:00 a.m. ET at TalkingDeadSweeps.com. In related news, executive producer Greg Nicotero appeared on the season finale of AMC's Geeking Out, where he dropped an interesting tidbit about The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere. Here's what he had to say below, teasing that there is so much more that happens beside learning about who Negan kills.
"There's so much more that happens in that episode that is more heartbreaking than that moment, that by the time the episode's over it's almost too much. It's that intense. It just keeps getting worse. It goes lower and lower and lower and lower."
There will also be a number of new characters introduced in The Walking Dead Season 7. The first trailer that debuted at Comic-Con offered our first look at The Kingdom, and its leader King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), along with his pet tiger Ezekiel. There will also be a "grandmother type" named Naomi, who will do whatever it takes so she doesn't lose anyone else close to her again, and Jennie, said to be a "sunny-side up teenager," but we don't know if these characters are part of The Kingdom or not.