×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Walking Dead’ Writer Channing Powell Plugs Into Dystopian Thriller ‘The Feed’

Channing Powell, a writer on “The Walking Dead” for five seasons, has now turned her thoughts to showrunning “The Feed,” a near-future dystopian thriller that world premiered this week at Canneseries TV drama festival.

The show centers on a young psychiatrist, Tom Hatfield (Guy Burnet), who is concerned about the effects of a technology called The Feed, an implant in the brains of millions of users that allows them to share thoughts, emotions and memories. Matters are further complicated because it was his father (David Thewlis) who invented and maintains The Feed, and his mother (Michelle Fairley) is the CEO of the corporation that profits from it. When cases start to appear of users turning violent toward themselves and others Tom begins to investigate.

When Powell was first approached about the project, which is based on a novel by Nick Clark Windo, she was wary of tackling another dystopian thriller, but the story sparked her interest. “I was familiar with that world and I liked that world, but I didn’t want to do ‘The Walking Dead’ again. But this was presenting it in a completely new way,” she tells Variety in Cannes.

She was skeptical about the concept of The Feed as a technology. “I thought, well, this could never happen; technology like this doesn’t exist,” she says. Having done a little research, though, she was surprised to find it wasn’t so far-fetched.

“Allegedly Facebook is working on something that would go inside your head and MIT is trying to develop a technology that is powered by thought, which to me is such a terrifying notion that you would let people inside your head, I mean that is the last frontier of privacy that we have,” she says. “And I was a new mom right when it came to me so why not terrify myself more with other things that I should be concerned about happening in the world.”

Rather than the technology, what hooked her was a more human and universal aspect to the story: the pregnancy of Tom’s wife Kate (Nina Toussaint White) and the subsequent birth of their first child, and the threat The Feed may pose to their daughter.

“I am a big fan of [Roman Polanski’s psychological horror film] ‘Rosemary’s Baby,’ and I had just had my daughter. ‘The Feed’ is about two young parents doing anything they possibly can to protect their child from a world that seems scary, and that was what appealed to me,” she says. “There is always going to be the big story going on around the characters, but as long as the characters themselves are interesting, and you can relate to them, it doesn’t really matter what’s happening around them.”

“The Feed,” which is produced by Studio Lambert, premieres this year on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S., Canada and Latin America, and across Liberty Global’s international platforms, including Virgin Media in the U.K. All3Media International is handling other territory sales.

More TV

  • Jeremy Sisto, Ebonee Noel, Dick Wolf,

    Dick Wolf Plots Cross-Network Crossover Between CBS, NBC

    Veteran television producer Dick Wolf, best known for creating the “Law & Order” franchise, is eyeing a cross-network crossover between his CBS freshman procedural “FBI” or its in-the-works spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted” and one of his NBC shows, such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” or “Chicago P.D.” The decision whether to go with [...]

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

  • Emmys: How a Social Media Campaign

    How a Social Media Campaign to Game the Emmys Led to This Week's 'Block Voting' Scandal

    The Television Academy’s “block voting” controversy has quickly become the talk of Emmy season — and that appears to have been the org’s point. According to multiple insiders, the number of people disqualified from voting in this year’s competition is believed to be small, only around three members (out of nearly 25,000 members overall). But [...]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Drops Trailer for 'Veronica Mars' Revival (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu dropped the official trailer for the “Veronica Mars” revival and HBO revealed more cast members for “Lovecraft Country.” FIRST LOOKS Hulu has dropped the official trailer for its revival of “Veronica Mars,” set to premiere on July 26. The series will bring back most of the original cast, including Kristen Bell, Jason [...]

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content