“The Walking Dead” executive producer Gale Anne Hurd raised eyebrows on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at the National Association of Television Executives conference in Miami when she seemed to confirm suspicions that producers may have toned down some violence on the show after the reaction to the gruesome season 7 premiere in which two characters were bludgeoned with a barbed wire-covered baseball bat. “We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence,” said Hurd on a NATPE panel, first reported by Variety. “We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season.”
However, two exec producers tell EW that they did not change their approach at all after many viewers were critical of the graphic nature of the premiere. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple points out that the explicitness of that premiere baseball bat beating was intended to be above and beyond what the zombie drama usually does, and that nothing that came after was ever intended to come anywhere close to it. Continue reading
TV Line is reporting Ross Marquand will be joining the cast of The Walking Dead in the second half of the show’s fifth season. Marquand played Paul Newman in the sixth season of Mad Men.
AMC would not confirm who Marquand is playing, but TV Line speculates that it may be Aaron, a gay character from The Walking Dead comic book series, basing it on Kirkman’s previous confirmation of a prominent gay character from the comics coming to the television series.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 8, 2015.