“The Walking Dead” executive producer Gale Anne Hurd stopped by the CBR Tiki Room at WonderCon 2013 to discuss tonight’s season finale of the critically acclaimed drama, the surprising success of the basic cable show and how the series has been a game-changer for the landscape of television.
On the possibility of “The Walking Dead” being the most successful show on TV during development: AMC at the time had “Mad Men,” critically acclaimed, so we thought we would be their niche genre project that would do okay, but we’d certainly never imagined we’d literally be ahead of all the dramas on network television.
On “The Walking Dead” being a game-changer for television as a whole: There’s no question. I hear over and over again at the industry conventions I attend that it’s the show people talk about in their executive meetings. You’re seeing darker shows on the network now [like] “The Following.” Basic cable’s always been a bit darker, but the shows are getting darker still — “Bates Motel” on A&E. I think that genre is no longer our little dirty secret. I think the rest of the folks have discovered it now.
On “The Walking Dead” character death that hit her the hardest: I haven’t been on set for all of them, but I would say that Shane’s death, I was on set for that, it was brutally cold and it was Rick and Shane — two best friends — that, to me, was incredibly traumatizing. Lori had turned and so, Carl wasn’t killing his human mother. He was essentially killing his mother who was going to die and turn.
On things to come for “The Walking Dead” season finale: I can’t say very much. I think that there are loose ends that you’ll be seeing Sunday night that won’t all be wrapped up, and some will have a resounding, sad and shocking end.
On where she prefers episodes to take place: One of my favorite episodes was actually “Clear,” where Morgan came back. He didn’t actually come back, we found him. I like the episodes that illuminate character and that can be done either on the road or back at the prison or on the farm. I really want to find out as much as I can about the characters. It was also the episode where Michonne finally opened up.