‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff: What We Know So Far

During the Season 5 finale of AMC’s mega-hit zombie drama The Walking Dead, fans finally got a sneak peek of the long-awaited upcoming spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead. Though the teaser is only 15 seconds long, it gave enough of a taste to get The Walking Dead’s huge fan base very excited for more zombie apocalypse. And AMC is certainly excited for more of the highest-rated show on cable.

The teaser has an image of a virus over a narration of a newscaster warning residents of Los Angeles to be careful of a flu bug that has been going around the country. “Reports in five states say a strange virus is going around, so if you’re not feeling well, go home, take care of yourself,” he advises before an image of a lopsided zombie walking down a tunnel appears. Walking Dead fans won’t have to go too long without their zombie fix, as the new show is promised to come out this summer while the original is in its off season.

Fear the Walking Dead will explore what happened leading up to the zombie apocalypse that has thoroughly ravaged society by the beginning of The Walking Dead. The graphic novel series the show is based on didn’t get into that either, so super-fans are going to get all-new material to learn about the Walking Dead universe. The new show will feature an entirely new storyline with new characters and will be set in Los Angeles instead of Atlanta, though Deadline reported it’s shooting in Vancouver.

The producer of The Walking Dead and the writer of the original comics Robert Kirkman is on board with the new show and Sons of Anarchy’s Dave Erickson has been tapped as the showrunner. Kirkman’s involvement means that the new plot will come from the mind that created the original story, making for better continuity than bringing in someone new.

New Zealand native Cliff Curtis has been cast in the lead role of Sean Cabrera, a high school teacher described as someone who tries to “do right by everyone in his life.” Cabrera is dealing with complicated family problems between his ex-wife and his rebellious teenage son while the society is on the verge of a major zombie epidemic.

Cabrera’s son, Cody, is described as being smart, rebellious, and angry. The lead female role will be single mom Nancy Tompkins, who is the guidance counselor at the high school where Cabrera works. Her son, Nick, is a slacker who’s too old to be living at home and yet remains stuck there, while his ambitious sister, Ashley, loves her family but knows she must get out on her own. Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam Carey were cast in those roles. The character Andrea Chapman is described as an aging hippie who moves to the edge of town to deal with a failed marriage.

AMC has said it wants to keep The Walking Dead alive into Season 10. Having a spinoff to garner more ratings alongside it will only be more of a good thing for the network. Given that much of the original team is on board for the spinoff, plus very different aspects of The Walking Dead universe are being explored, it seems likely it will be a hit with fans as well.

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqui_WSCS

More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet: