Can't wait until October for The Walking Dead to premiere? Your zombie needs can be answered by its spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead. On Friday, AMC announced that the six-part series will premiere with a 90-minute extended episode on Sunday, Aug. 23 at 9/8c on AMC.
On the panel were stars Cliff Curtis, Kim Dickens, Frank Dillane, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Lorenzo James Henrie, Ruben Bladesand Mercedes Masohn, along with executive producer and showrunner Dave Erickson, executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Dave Alpert, and special effects makeup supervisor and executive producer Greg Nicotero.
Watch the first trailer for the series below:
Here's what else you need to know about Fear the Walking Dead:
Pre-The Walking Dead Fear of the Walking Dead is tonally different in that it is building to the place we know. It doesn't get to full apocalypse until later on in the season. "It starts as a family drama, and we filter the apocalypse through that," Erickson said. We haven't seen this time period because these events took place during the time The Walking Dead's Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) was in a coma.
Fresher dead meat We get to see how the virus or microbe or whatever first took hold of the humans before they became walkers. Nicotero said, " They don't look quite well, they look sickly... there's not necessarily the decomposition because they haven't been walking around for [as long]."
The new family The spin-off set in Los Angeles focuses on a different set of survivors during the zombie outbreak. Our heroes include a divorced teacher and father (Curtis) who is in a relationship with his co-worker, guidance counselor Madison (Dickens), who is also the mother of two kids, her druggie son Nick (Dillane) and daughter Alicia (Debnam-Carey).
The "kids" Madison's son Nick may be used to getting high, but even he knows that something's not quite right when he stumbles upon one of the early walkers. "He's one of the first to get a sense of what's going on," Erickson said. "He's a bit of a prophet of the apocalypse." In contrast, Nick's sister Alicia is a high achiever. "It's heartbreaking because I've got a lot to lose... the furthest to fall," Debnam-Carey said.
The ex Liza (Rodriguez) is Travis' ex-wife and very protective mother of Chris (Henrie). She's also gone to nursing school, which will come in handy for the zombie apocalypse.
The barber Daniel (Blades) teased that "events occur that force him to revisit a past he's trying to get away from." Barber school? His daughter Ofelia (Masohn) is very protective of her parents and doesn't want language to be a barrier.
Crossover? No plans right now to do that, especially since it would be "geographically complicated," pointed out Erickson. Fear is set in Los Angeles, while Walking Dead is in Atlanta.
Los Angeles Don't expect any recognizable landmarks (like the Hollywood sign) to be destroyed on the show. "Staples Center is not going down, at least not yet, " Erickson said. As for the culture, the show is mainly set in a neighborhood in East L.A. The widespread epidemic isolates the different neighborhoods, which adds to the tension.
Chris Hardwick the walker? The Talking Dead host and the panel's moderator had gone through the makeup process for fun, but said that as a fan, being part of the show would take him out of the proper mindset as a viewer. He's still game, but is worried that his presence would also be jarring for fans.
Fear of the Walking Dead premieres Sunday, Aug. 23 at 9/8c on AMC.