The Talking Dead’ companion series aids success of original drama

It is never unusual to recap a favorite television show episode with a group of peers just after it has ended; to discuss the events of the episode, character impact, and who will be next to be killed off is only natural. For some reality TV shows and most sporting events, there are formal post-programming talk shows, known as companion programs, dedicated to reviewing what unfolded just moments ago. Some drama series are now developing their own post programming companion series such as Falling Skies and Breaking Bad but none have been more successful than AMC’s “The Talking Dead”, airing immediately after the network’s zombie-apocalypse sensation “The Walking Dead”.

“The Talking Dead” is a talk show hosted by comedian Chris Hardwick which digests the previous episode of “The Walking Dead” with celebrity fans, and crew and cast members from the critically acclaimed show. Audience members and viewers at home have the chance to ask questions of the guests, offer theories of what will happen next and give their opinions on what certain characters should or should not be doing to further the plot. One of the most popular features of the show is a weekly segment of “in memoriam” which tallies all of the zombies and characters killed off in that week’s episode. Other aspects of “The Talking Dead” are trivia, behind-the-scenes footage, actor interviews and a weekly online poll to promote fan interaction.

This companion series began during the second season of “The Walking Dead” and was created by the series’ producers, Glen Mazzara and Greg Nicotero.

Some of the guests welcomed onto the set of “The Talking Dead” in the past have been Marilyn Manson, Patton Oswalt, Hayley Williams and creator of “The Walking Dead” franchise Robert Kirkman. Recent guests include Jim Gaffigan, Mindy Kaling, J.B. Smoove along with several “The Walking Dead” cast members.

The formula “The Walking Dead” and its companion series “The Talking Dead” have created is a certainly a successful one. Each brings more attention to the other, which is a solid way to promote the franchise. The interactive social media features of “The Talking Dead” are a big credit to the show’s rise from obscurity to must-see television. It should be expected for other network dramas to adopt similar companion series for their hit dramas so they can grow their brands into cult followings just as “The Walking Dead” has.

Brett Montana can be reached at brett.montana@student.shu.edu.

Author: Staff Writer

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