The Walking Dead is known for it’s over-the-top violence and gore. But with AMC announcing that their hit show will be airing on broadcast TV’s MyNetwork in the fall, the question of how much is too much will certainly be asked of the show. And according to the NY Daily News, the The Walking Dead debate will begin almost immediately:
“AMC’s The Walking Dead will lurch onto broadcast television this fall — and it’s a no-brainer that it will likely spark a spirited discussion about appropriate content.”
The Walking Dead will air on MyNetwork with back-to-back episodes starting at 8:00 p.m., one night a week. The episodes will be rated TV-14 as opposed to the AMC version that’s currently rated TV-MA, for mature audiences. It will also be edited for broadcast standards, meaning less gore and violence and certainly zero profanity. But with visceral slayings of both human and zombies, The Walking Dead – cable TV’s number one rated show – may be too much for a family friendly audience to handle.
[Warning: Spoilers Ahead]
Just this past week for example, The Walking Dead featured the gruesome killings of two minor characters, sisters Lizzie and Mika. What made it especially heart wrenching – besides the fact they were children – was the fact that Lizzie murdered her own sister in cold blood to prove there was no difference in killing humans and zombies. Carol’s only choice at that point – in a direct reference to the famous novel Of Mice and Men – was to end Lizzie’s life before she could kill again, shooting her in the back of the head. Not exactly family-friendly material wouldn’t you say?
But in an article posted on Variety, Fox TV Stations programming chief Frank Cicha appeared undaunted by the challenge and instead tried to focus on the upside of adding the AMC zombie drama: “It’s not often you get to add the hottest show on the planet to your lineup. We just did, and it’s a tremendous get for our stations.”
Billie Gold, VP/director of TV programming research at media agency Carat agreed that the violence in The Walking Dead wouldn’t be too big a concern for MyNetwork. In an interview with the NY Post she said:
“I think standards have gotten more lax now. The tone of television has changed. You look at lot of dramas on television and they show things that 10 years ago … I think a lot of family-friendly groups probably would have protested.”
The Walking Dead continues its fourth season on AMC Sundays at 10:00 p.m. The Walking Dead reruns will appear on MyNetwork this fall.