NBC Wanted The Walking Dead to be a Zombie-less Procedural

There are a lot of things that define Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" and its televised AMC adaptation: Man's inhumanity to man, tyrannical compound leaders and, perhaps most importantly, zombies. Before being picked up by AMC, Darabont first had an overall deal with NBC — but the network had a wildly a different idea of what "The Walking Dead" should look like.

As revealed in an interview with "The Walking Dead" Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd (via Variety), when Darabont initially submitted the script to NBC, the network questioned whether the show really needed to have zombies in it. They also reportedly asked if the script could be reworked so that it was more procedural — suggesting that the series focus on two detectives solving zombie crimes on a weekly basis.

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Hurd went on to reiterate that -- despite NBC's unusual input -- the show itself is not really about the zombies, but rather the characters who are forced to survive and grow in a stressful, messy world. In such a world, the zombies pose a constant threat, but the humans are just as dangerous.

The interview also touches on some of the things fans can expect for the Season 7 premiere. Hurd said Negan is guaranteed to be a "game-changer” for the upcoming season, and that the mystery of the cliffhanger would be resolved quickly.

"The Walking Dead" returns Sunday, October 23 at 9pm ET on AMC.

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