×

Zombie Attack! Canceled Series Should Borrow From ‘The Walking Dead’

Newly deceased shows could take a page from hit zombie drama if they hope to rise again

Network television is no stranger to borrowing ideas. So it’s something of a surprise the major broadcasters haven’t done more to crib from TV’s biggest hit, AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” even as their new series continue to join the ranks of the just-plain dead, the latest being NBC’s “Ironside” retread and the sitcom “Welcome to the Family.”

Still, it might not be too late. After all, the whole point of zombies is that they rise from the you know what. So perhaps with a little creative tinkering – current departments, this is why they pay you the less-than-insulting bucks – some of the programs the networks have already buried could walk again.

Wading through a list of the new season’s prematurely deceased, there are small changes that could be made to incorporate a touch of zombie-mania into the proceedings. Just think of zombies as the ultimate TV accessory – what black and then gay best friends were a few years ago.

We Are Men: Not only are three divorced guys living at what looks a whole lot like the Oakwood Apartments, but their efforts to meet babes are complicated when a new zombie on the block – dumped by his fiancée, because he died shortly before their wedding – joins their ranks. Sure, he’s a conversation starter at bars – a wingman with a lot of heart, just no pulse – but he’s a little awkward when it comes to women, frequently less interested in seducing them than eating their brains.

Ironside: So that shot in the back, the one that originally left Chief of Detectives Robert Ironside wheelchair bound? Turns out it was fatal. But a freak jolt of electricity has brought him back to life, more determined than ever to convict criminals, starting with finding and eating the one who murdered him.

Welcome to the Family: A middle-class white couple is happy their daughter got into college, while a Latino family is thrilled that their son is headed to Stanford. Everything takes a wildly hilarious turn, however, when she’s inadvertently transformed into a zombie — and bites him, too! So much for those plans to have sex in the daytime and sign up for Pilates classes. Now both mismatched broods have to come together, if only to prevent the neighbors from shoving a crowbar through their kids’ foreheads when they start making horrible noises at the chain-link fence.

Lucky 7: Seven co-workers are in a basement scratching lottery tickets when the zombie apocalypse strikes. Congratulations, they’re still alive – but also the last seven normal people on the face of the Earth. Or are they?

As for those who are still waiting to see whether the network is going to give them the heave-ho, why procrastinate? Besides, a title like “Sean Saves the World” is practically ready-made for a zombie invasion, and what could be more of a “Betrayal” than finding out your lover is harboring a really dark secret?

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • 'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to

    'The Muppets' Short-Form Series Coming to Disney Plus

    Kermit, Miss Piggy and co. are coming to Disney Plus. A short-form unscripted series starring the goofy puppets is set to premiere on the forthcoming Disney streaming service in 2020. The news was announced at the Disney Plus D23 Expo event. The announcement came with a brief teaser of Kermit and Joe the Legal Weasel [...]

  • Succession HBO

    'Succession' Composer Nicholas Britell on Making Music for the One Percent

    The Roys, the media empire family at the heart of HBO’s “Succession,” are ridiculously rich. They’re manipulative and cruel. They’re also a bit delusional and absurd. When Nicholas Britell conceived the show’s score, he wanted to capture all of that. “I wrote in this almost late-1700s, dark classical zone,” says Britell, the Oscar-nominated composer of [...]

  • Ewan McGregor of 'American Pastoral'Variety and

    Ewan McGregor Confirms Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus Series to Shoot Next Year

    Ewan McGregor has confirmed that he will be reprising the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi for a Disney Plus series centered around the powerful Jedi, after Variety previously reported that he was in talks for the series. At Disney biennial D23 convention in Anaheim, Calif. on Friday, McGregor provided more details about the prospective show and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content