Walking Dead creators tell us their season-two (yes, TWO!) plans

Yes, we know AMC's new zombie drama The Walking Dead—based on Robert Kirkman's uber-successful comic-book series of the same name—doesn't even DEBUT until Oct. 31. But that doesn't mean talk of a second season is premature.

Based on the buzz generated from trailers and sneak peeks at San Diego and New York Comic Con and early critics' reviews, all signs point to a winner. And in recent interviews with Blastr, even producers Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd are cautiously optimistic about getting their ideas on for a sophomore season.

Hurd confirms that AMC has not said yes to another season ... yet. However, she says a second season would consist of 13 episodes, seven more than the first-season order. "We will need a pickup before January 1st, because we'd want to be shooting by late spring [2011]."

For his part, Darabont says he would be thrilled to get another season, but they're still preoccupied with getting the first six complete.

"[Rob] is back in Kentucky ducking floods and writing his comic book, and I'm in L.A. really wrapping up post. We just locked the cut of number five, and I'm very close to locking six. I'm at the tail end of the marathon, so having conversations about what the coming season might be, we ain't even gotten there. And once we're done, I've got to have some time off this year. If it gets picked up, those conversations will begin extremely in earnest in January."

Perhaps the most telling thing about Darabont's admission is that it leaves the extremely in-demand director/screenwriter free to return to The Walking Dead to help shepherd a second year.

He admits, "I want to stick with it as much and as long as I possibly can, because I didn't get into it lightly. I didn't get into it to set it in motion and then wave goodbye as other people sail down the canal. I don't want to be an absentee landlord. I want to keep my hands in the thing I am really loving doing."

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