×

By ALEXA HARRISON

The Friday opening of the 28th annual William S. Paley Festival at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills brought lots of laughter, cursing, and a little blood and guts. The-walking-dead-amc-cast-06-550x440

Don’t worry, the oozing parts were confined to the screening of episode five of AMC‘s ratings smash “The Walking Dead.”

Once the lights went up, moderator Mike Schneider — the former Variety TV editor and current L.A. bureau chief of TV Guide — gave the audience a few fun facts about the show and how well it’s doing.

“In the words of Charlie Sheen, ‘Winning!'” he told the crowd.

He then chatted with the panel, which comprised of exec producers Frank Darabont, Gale Anne Hurd and Robert Kirkman, as well as thesps Andrew Lincoln, Sarah Wayne Callies, Jon Bernthal, Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun and Emma Bell.

Darabont and graphic novel creator Robert Kirkman touched on the term “zombies” and how they have vowed never to utter the word on the show.

“We figured the best way to do it was imagine we were in an alternate dimension where zombies don’t exist,” explained Kirkman. What he means is, in this dimension, there are no Romero movies. No zombie survival guides.

And if the enthusiastic audience was hoping for the panel to divulge any secrets for season two, they were sadly mistaken.

Yet, there were certain reveals: Darabont and Kirkman confirmed the character of Merle, despite what half the audience thought, will not be the governor. And, the writers are currently discussing what to do with him, Morgan and Duane and Merle.

Also, Lori may or may not get pregnant, but her indiscretion will probably come to light. Kirkman joked that in both of AMC’s other critically applauded series, “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men,” the women get knocked up in season two.

Oh, and the gore factor will definitely increase for the new season, which will be a full 13 episodes rather than the abbreviated six of the first season.

Filming will begin in the next two or three months and the new season will premiere in October.