AMC has signed Emmy-winning makeup effects artist Greg Nicotero to a first-look deal while naming him co-exec producer of series “The Walking Dead.”

Nicotero will also direct an episode of the series, for which he drew a prosthetic makeup nod at last week’s Creative Arts Emmys.

“Working on ‘The Walking Dead’ with such a fantastic cast and crew has been an amazing opportunity, and to have our contribution to the show celebrated is a tremendous compliment,” Nicotero said.

The deal makes it easier for Nicotero to bring his own projects to the cabler.

“Greg’s talent extends well beyond the word of special-effects makeup,” said Joel Stillerman, AMC senior veep of original programming, production and digital content. “He is also a truly talented director and has an incredibly comprehensive understanding and appreciation for great storytelling. His knowledge and respect for the genre is unparalleled, and we are looking forward to expanding our relationship with him with an eye towards developing more great original series.”

Nicotero owns makeup effects studio KNB EFX Group. His directorial debut, “The United Monster Talent Agency,” bowed in 2010 on AMC’s Fearfest. He has conceived and directed a series of “Walking Dead” webisodes (produced by Generate), launching Oct. 3.

“I have always felt like the show had a cinematic feel, and everyone involved is dedicated to making this show something special,” Nicotero said. “To be able to branch out and to develop not only the Web series but also genre material is something I have always wanted to do, given the people I have had the pleasure of working with over the last 23 years.”