The Walking Dead's producers scaled back some of the show's explicit violence after the negative response from viewers toward the traumatic Season 7 premiere, executive producer Gale Anne Hurd said Wednesday.
"We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence," Hurd said during a Walking Dead panel at the National Association of Television Program Executives conference in Miami, according to Variety. "We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season."
The season premiere featured the character Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) demolishing two characters' heads with a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat in a display of violence some viewers and critics found excessive.
Hurd says the show took those responses to heart, and dialed down the violence in episodes that were still in production after the premiere aired.
"This is not a show that is torture porn," Hurd said, adding that the response to the premiere made the producers take greater consideration so that "we don't cross that line."
It's unclear what episodes got the toned-down treatment — the midseason finale featured a graphic disembowelment, for example — and The Walking Dead will surely remain one of the most violent shows on TV, since brutal violence is central to its identity. But the second half of Season 7 is said to be more "fun," so it will be interesting to see if the violence is noticeably diminished.
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9/8c on AMC.