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AMC is moving forward with its long-gestating plan for a “Walking Dead” companion series, greenlighting a pilot penned by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson.

The pilot is set in the same post zombie-apocalypse world as “Walking Dead” (pictured) but features entirely new characters in a different location.

“There are many corners of ‘The Walking Dead’ universe that remain unseen in the shadows. Being given the opportunity to shine a light into those corners and see what lurks out there is an absolute thrill,” Kirkman said. “I know the fans are anxious to hear what Dave and I have been cooking up for this new universe of ‘The Walking Dead,’ and I’m happy to be one step closer to sharing it with them.”

Kirkman, creator of the franchise that began as a graphic novel, and Erickson are exec producers with “Walking Dead’s” Gale Ann Hurd and David Alpert. Erickson, an alum of “Sons of Anarchy,” will serve as showrunner on the AMC Studios project expected to begin lensing later this year.

“Walking Dead,” which ranks as primetime’s highest-rated drama series in the adults 18-49 demographic, returns to AMC’s sked Oct. 12 for its fifth season. Given the importance of the franchise to the bottom line of all of AMC Networks, it was only a matter of time before a spinoff series lumbered on to AMC’s air.

Entertainment Weekly first reported the pilot greenlight.

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