Filmic style draws helmers; int'l rollout stifles theft

Miami– Gale Anne Hurd spoke Tuesday to a NATPE aud of creatives and not a few fans about “The Walking Dead,” which she exec produces. She said new episodes of the AMC skein would premiere in October during the net’s Fearfest event.

Asked about the preponderance of film-styled shows on cable by moderator and TV Guide editor Stephen Battaglio, Hurd observed that the artistic license and need for attention-grabbing content appeals to movie biz creatives like series mastermind Frank Darabont.

“A lot of filmmakers who are attracted to television right now are interested in serialized drama,” Hurd said. “They’re interested in morally ambiguous characters.”

Speaking to the worldwide launch of the show (more typical of a big-budget film than of a television series), Hurd said that the move was largely an anti-piracy measure.

“I was talking to my cab driver about it, and he told me that while he wasn’t going to steal the show, he’d have trouble keeping his kids from downloading it illegally,” Hurd said. “He told me, ‘They’ll wait a few days, but they won’t wait six months.”

Hurd also addressed whether the series’ creatives (including Robert Kirkman, who produces and wrote the graphic novel on which the show is based) had a finite lifespan for the show with a finale in mind, a la “Lost.” Their thinking, she said, is for the long haul.

“Robert Kirkman has said that he hopes it’s the series that challenges ‘The Simpsons,'” Hurd said.

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