“The Walking Dead” Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd spoke with CBR TV at New York Comic Con about AMC’sM hit drama’s just-launched fourth season, explaining that despite the show’s success thus far, the creative team continues to find itself fearful of living up to fan expectations and what they’re taking from Season 3 to apply to Season 4. She also discusses her thoughts on the possibility of over-saturating the “genre” television market, Chad Coleman’s expanded role as Tyreese in the current season and more.
On whether fan expectations for “The Walking Dead” ever scares the production team: It scares us before we’re at the starting gate and once we’re at the starting gate, it’s so much great work with great people that you have to put all that aside and tell great stories, because we have a great cast. … You know what’s exhilarating? Reading the fantastic scripts that we have this season and then being able to see the edited footage and knowing how happy all the cast members are — except of course the ones we kill. They’re not so happy.
On taking developments from Season 3 and applying them to Season 4: What we knew was we had taken Rick to the limits — we call it, “He went into crazy town. He went back.” Of course, he wasn’t going to win any parent of the year awards with how he handled not only Carl but also his new daughter, his baby, Judith. We needed to see where that relationship was going to go and we also knew that the walker threat had almost been manageable last season as we dealt with human upon human dangers, so we wanted to make sure that we didn’t forget that the walkers are out there more than ever.
On the concern of over saturation of genre entertainment: I think the audience takes care of the not-so-good [shows] themselves because they won’t tune in. They’ll check it out and there’ll be big ratings for the first week and the second week if it’s not so good, they won’t be back the third week. I think it’s just a natural process and clearly when you consider the shows that are working — “American Horror Story,” look at how their numbers are up; “Sleepy Hollow” — I love those shows and I’m glad to see there are more shows I want to watch.
On the development of Tyreese and the character’s direction this season: We have Chad Coleman to bring him to life. Chad’s not only a fantastic actor from “The Wire” but he’s someone who is so in love with this show, he puts 100 percent into bringing Tyreese to life, and we’ve stepped up in terms of the scripts that you’ll be seeing in Season 4. We give him a lot and we take him to some pretty deep, dark recesses of that character.