Gale Anne Hurd is genre royalty. The first movie she produced was The Terminator. She went on to produce two of James Cameron's other classics, Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgement Day. She found great success in television with The Walking Dead, the most successful horror-thriller series in TV history. Her newest series, Amazon's Lore, blends horror with documentary, her other field of expertise.
Hurd knows genre storytelling, and has seen it move through boom and bust periods throughout her career. Right now, television in general is in a boom period, with more content being produced than ever before. But Hurd thinks more specifically than just a golden age of television, we're in a golden age of sci-fi, fantasy and horror on television.
"Anything that one can imagine can now be brought to life on TV," she tells TV Guide, "and we didn't have the tools to do that in the past. And we also didn't have the executives who were willing to roll the dice at the networks and now we do."
Those executives are allocating resources to make commercially and critically successful shows like Game of Thrones, Outlander, Westworld, American Horror Story and, of course, The Walking Dead, which have bigger budgets, higher production values and more prominent talent involved than genre fare has typically received on television. The boom has also lifted smaller shows like Lore, an adaptation of a popular podcast which reenacts spooky true stories with style and intelligence. It's an eerie and elevated take on the Unsolved Mysteries format, and it probably wouldn't have been greenlit even just five years ago because this kind of show wasn't as respectable, podcasts hadn't been established as a viable source material for television shows and there weren't as many places with money to burn and programming calendars to fill.
Lore adapts episodes of the podcast of the same name. The stories explore the origins of bits of folklore like vampires and werewolves and reenacts notable true stories, like the murder of Bridget Cleary, whose husband thought she was a changeling.
"There's always some truth in any mythology or folklore," says Hurd, "and that's why this is so frightening."
Hurd hasn't seen all the big genre shows (who has?), but she's excited to get caught up on Star Trek: Discovery, which stars Walking Dead alum Sonequa Martin-Green, and is looking forward to Marvel's The Punisher, which is toplined by Jon Bernthal, another former Walking Dead star.
Lore is now streaming on Amazon Prime.