The series stars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, who gets shot in the line of duty and awakens from a coma to find the world dominated by the walking dead. He sets out to find his family and encounters many other survivors along the way. The title of the series refers to the survivors, and not the zombies.
In September 2013, a spin-off series was announced by AMC.
On March 2010, it was announced that AMC ordered 6 episodes to be filmed. The filming began on the fifteenth of May, 2010. The episodes debuted on AMC on October 31, 2010.
Executive Producer Frank Darabont said that the TV Series was not intended to be a miniseries. AMC ordered 13 episodes for the second season. The second season debuted on October 16, 2011 at 9 p.m. with a 90 minute premiere episode "What Lies Ahead".
Frank Darabont was released from being the showrunner and replaced by Glen Mazzara (writer of the episode "Wildfire" in the first season). Darabont's departure has been surrounded in controversy, with magazine articles claiming that it was due to either a strained relationship with AMC, his failure to conform to the schedule of a TV series, or most likely due to the show's budget reduction despite commercial success.
Glen Mazzara, the Season 3 showrunner, was replaced by executive producer, Scott Gimple. Mazzara had cited creative differences with the drama and departed the series in late December 2012 after season 3 had wrapped production. Gimple took over as showrunner for Season 4.
Rick is the husband of Lori Grimes and the father of Carl Grimes. An honest, kind, and lawful person, Rick worked in King County, Georgia as a sheriff's deputy who after awaking from a coma finds the world ravaged by an undead apocalypse. He has since become the leader of a group of survivors from Atlanta, Georgia. Rick became more ruthless after being forced to kill his best friend, Shane, but also became mentally unstable after the death of Lori. After a while, he finally became more stable and is trying to live a peaceful life with his son and his newborn daughter, Judith.
Carl is the son of Rick and Lori. He fled with Lori and Shane after the apocalypse, thinking his father was dead. Once naive and childish, he began changing dramatically after accidentally getting shot and having his close friend, Sophia, died as a walker. As the apocalypse goes on, he slowly becomes colder and harsher and he and his father is trying to live a good life after facing many horror and sorrows. Pessimistic at times, he would often scold people he thinks are not living in the real world.
Glenn is a pizza delivery boy who knows every shortcut in Atlanta. He saved Rick when he was trapped inside a tank surrounded by walkers, and brought Rick back to the Atlanta camp, where he is reunited with his wife and son. He is frequently used as a "runner" for supplies when the Atlanta survivors are running low, due to his extensive knowledge and talent. He is quick on his feet and is a fast tinker with tools and weapons and also frequently got into dangerous situations, which he always proved himself capable of dealing with them. He develops a relationship with Maggie, and after surviving for months with her and her family, finally marries her.
Daryl is the younger brother of Merle and is the survivor camp's expert hunter and tracker whose signature weapon is a crossbow. A violent and short-tempered man at first, he slowly become Rick's most trusted right-hand man and a reliable protector for the group. Once decided to leave the group for Merle, but returns to the group with him and since then, had grown wiser, stronger and more mature. He keeps the prison going by bringing back food and new people from his supply run.
Carol was a wife and mother before and during the apocalypse. Her abusive husband, Ed, was poetically slain by a female zombie during a raid of the undead upon the original Atlanta camp. Her daughter Sophia became a walker and was taken to a barn on the Greene Farm (which housed zombies; the owner of the farm, Hershel Greene, believed the undead to be sick people in need of a cure). Carol is the sole surviving member of her immediate family and with the death of Andrea at the close of the Third season finale, the last surviving female of the original Atlanta group.
Maggie is the daughter of Hershel Greene and older half-sister of Beth Greene. Maggie is strong, caring, brave, a tomboy, and is one of the main asset for the group. She stayed at a farmhouse with her family and neighbors when the survivors encountered them in Season 2. She has gone on to become seriously involved with Glenn over the course of his stay on the farm and eventually, marry him after spending months surviving together with him and his group.
Michonne is a mysterious survivor who saved Andrea in "Beside the Dying Fire". She wield a katana and is stealthy, quiet, and doesn't like being in a crowd. She was a close friend of Andrea before they went to Woodbury. She also despised the Governor from the moment she met him, putting herself and Andrea in trouble and resulting into joining Rick's group. After Andrea died, she began getting closer to the group and had grown a lot more talkative and developed a sense of humor. She had been hunting for the Governor after his disappearance and finally get her revenge when the Governor attacked the prison. She is forced to escape the prison and is beginning to go back to her old self.
Andrea was an attorney who was on a road trip with her sister Amy when the apocalypse occurred. A strong, independent woman, she became the most prominent dead-eye shooter next to Shane within the group. Separated from the rest of her group when walkers attacked the farm she and her group was staying at. Rescued by Michonne and leaves her after finding a town named Woodbury. Began a relationship with The Governor but tried to stop him after realizing he was bad. Committed suicide after being bitten by Walker Milton.
Lori was the wife of Rick and mother of Carl. Headstrong, caring, and brave but at times, indecisive. Believing Rick to be dead, she followed Shane to Atlanta. After knowing that Rick is alive, she immediately cut any ties of Shane from her family. Shane continued harboring feelings for her which caused friction between him and Rick. She became distant with Rick and Carl as time goes on, but still remained close to the rest of the group. She met her demise through the birth of her daughter Judith. Carl shot Lori before becoming a walker.
Shane was Rick's partner in the King County Sheriff's Department and best friend since high school. When Rick got shot and was in a coma, Shane brought him to the hospital and when the apocalypse breaks out, he barricaded Rick's room to keep him safe. His downfall began with his obsessive love over Rick's wife Lori. After getting caught lying to Lori about Rick dying, his relationship started to fall apart starting with Lori, Rick and eventually, almost the whole group. He lead Rick into an empty open plain, where he planned to kill him but failed and was stabbed by a knife in the stomach by Rick. Reanimated and was put down by Carl.
Dale was the owner of the Winnebago around which the others, particularly Andrea, had formed a community. His consciousness for humanity holds together what is left of the former society between the survivors. He died after getting his stomach ripped off by a walker while scouting around Hershel's farm in the night. His death affected the survivor's moral and encourage them to always take the best way to survive.
Merle is Daryl's older racist brother, who Rick handcuffed to the roof of a department store and was forced to cut his hand off to escape. He was rescued by the Governor after escaping the rooftop he was trapped in. Since then, he became one of the Governor's most trusted right-hand man and lived in Woodbury. He began living at the prison with Rick's group after escaping Woodbury together with Daryl. After living in the prison, he began to have a change of heart and sacrificed himself for the prison group by attacking the Governor secretly. Killed by the Governor, left to turn. Walker Merle was put down by Daryl.
Hershel is the recovering alcoholic father of Maggie and Beth. He owns a farm house that the survivors encounter in Season 2. Once against killing the walkers, Hershel has since become one of Rick's most devoted followers after seeing the truth in humanity amongst the apocalypse. Even after having his leg amputated because of a walker bite, he does not give up hope and is always there to lend his strength whenever the group needs his guidance. He tragically died at the hands of The Governor, being executed in front of his daughters by getting his head chopped off with Michonne's katana.
Philip is the antagonist leading Woodbury. He had a wife and a daughter named Penny, who he kept tied up when she became a walker, thinking that somehow she would remember him. He is manipulating and is full of malice and hatred. After Rick's group invade his town, he began having obsession to eliminate Rick's group and destroy the prison and does it relentlessly, without remorse. After being defeated by Rick's group, he gave up on living, but started getting hope when a chance arised to destroy the prison once and for all. He died by getting shot in the head after destroying the prison in which Rick and the others lived in.
Beth is a shy, soft-spoken teenage girl and is Hershel's youngest daughter, Maggie's younger half-sister, and was dating a boy named Jimmy. After attempting suicide, she has come to accept the world in a more tragic view than the rest of her family. Becomes the main caretaker of Judith after the death of Lori. She eventually dated another boy named Zach, who died shortly after. She became emotionally distant after witnessing many of her friends and family dying.
Jim was an Atlanta survivor. Jim was bitten or scratched during an attack, but not killed, the day before the group went to the CDC. On the way to the CDC, he was in pain and afraid he was going to turn, Jim requested to be left by the road, under a tree to die.
Milton is a scientist living in Woodbury, Georgia. He is a confidant of The Governor. Stabbed by the Governor, left to turn in order to kill Andrea. Walker Milton killed by Andrea after she was bitten.
Andrew was a prisoner discovered by Rick's group. His act of vengeance caused the deaths of T-Dog and Lori. Was killed by Oscar (head shot) during a confrontation with Rick in the prison generator room.
The Hermit lived in the woods between the prison and Woodbury before he was discovered by Rick's group. He was unaware of the apocalypse. Killed by Michonne and fed to the walkers in grant the group's escape.
The show currently scores 85 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 25 reviews, indicating Universal acclaim. In a cover article Entertainment Weekly called The Walking Dead "The Best New Show on TV". Nancy deWolf Smith from The Wall Street Journal said that the "pilot episode [is] so good that it has hooked even a zombie hater like me." She said that what made the show so good was that it feels real and looks cinematic. Heather Havrilesky of Salon.com included the show on their list of 9 new TV shows to not miss, giving it a grade of "A", with the author saying "A film-quality drama series about zombies? Somebody pinch me!"
Based on 24 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the first season of The Walking Dead received an average 96% overall "Certified Fresh" approval rating; the website's consensus states, "Blood-spattered, emotionally resonant, and white-knuckle intense, The Walking Dead puts an intelligent spin on the overcrowded zombie sub genre".
Based on 21 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the second season of The Walking Dead received an average 90% overall "Certified Fresh" approval rating; the website's consensus states, "The second season of The Walking Dead fleshes out the characters while maintaining the grueling tension and gore that made the show a hit."
Based on 28 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, the third season of The Walking Dead received an average 96% overall "Certified Fresh" approval rating; the website's consensus states, "The palpable terror and visceral thrills continue in the third season of The Walking Dead, along with a deeper sense of the people who inhabit its apocalyptic landscape."
The pilot received 5.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched premiere episode of any AMC television series.
The season 2 premiere and encore received a total of 11 million viewers, the rest of the season continues to break records around the world.
The season 3 premiere garnered a record-breaking 10.9 million viewers, and together with its encore, the premiere was watched by 15.2 million viewers, making this the most-watched episode of The Walking Dead, to date.
The season 4 premiere garnered cable record-breaking numbers, averaging 16.11 million U.S. viewers. This beats out the season three finale, "Welcome to the Tombs," which was viewed by 12.42 million, for the most viewed episode of The Walking Dead.