With its recent third-season premiere, AMC's zombie drama The Walking Dead proved itself one of the biggest and most popular shows on modern television. But did you know it almost didn't end up on the niche cable channel?
Before it was picked up by AMC, the series was already a buzzy project, building on the name cachet of Robert Kirkman's popular comic of the same name. But not everyone was keen to stay completely true to Kirkman's gory, violent vision.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Walking Dead makeup effects guru Greg Nicotero revealed that the show almost ended up at NBC and HBO, which were both very interested in the series.
The only problem? Both networks would only sign on if the producers agreed to "tone down" the zombie apocalypse, to which the producers responded "no thank you" and eventually would up at AMC's doorstep.
Nicotero said he's glad those early deals fell through, because his job wouldn't have been nearly as fun otherwise:
"Thank goodness we wound up at AMC. They totally get this show. Right from the beginning, they've been completely trusting and supportive of what we've been trying to do with this series ... We spent a million and a half on that prison set. And all the months that that took to build, AMC never once checked up on us. They never flew an executive or an accountant out to Georgia to make sure that we were spending that money the way that we said we would. Now that's trust."It's odd to hear that HBO had a problem with the gore, considering they're a pay cable movie net and could get even nastier than AMC is allowed. But the interesting question is, do you think a toned-down version of The Walking Dead could've worked, especially on a major network like NBC?