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Fear the Walking Dead is an American post-apocalyptic horror drama television series created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson. The show premiered on AMC on August 23, 2015. It is a companion series and prequel to The Walking Dead, which is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard.

Fear the Walking Dead
Fear The Walking Dead title card.png
Title card for the first three seasons
Genre
Created by
Based on
Starring
Theme music composerAtticus Ross
Composer(s)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes60 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Bill Johnson
  • Avram Butch Kaplan
  • Alan Page
  • Pablo Cruz
  • Arturo Sampson
Production location(s)
Cinematography
  • Michael McDonough
  • Patrick Cady
  • Christopher Manley
Editor(s)
  • Todd Desrosiers
  • Victor DuBois
  • Marc Clark
  • Tad Dennis
Running time43–65 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor
Release
Original networkAMC
Original releaseAugust 23, 2015 (2015-08-23) –
present (present)
Chronology
Related shows
External links
Official website

In July 2018, AMC renewed the series for a fifth season, which premiered on June 2, 2019. Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg have been the showrunners since the fourth season.

Contents

PremiseEdit

Set initially in Los Angeles, California and then later in Mexico,[1] the series follows a dysfunctional, blended family composed of high school guidance counselor Madison Clark, her English teacher fiancé Travis Manawa, her daughter Alicia, her drug addict son Nick, Travis's son from a previous marriage, Chris, Chris's mother Liza Ortiz, and others who join their group at the onset of the apocalypse.[2][3] They must reinvent themselves, learning new skills and adopting new attitudes in order to survive as civilization collapses around them.[4]

Cast and charactersEdit

MainEdit

RecurringEdit

Los AngelesEdit

  • Patricia Reyes Spíndola as Griselda Salazar: Ofelia's mother, who emigrated from El Salvador with her husband Daniel to escape political unrest. (season 1; guest season 2)[2]
  • Shawn Hatosy as Cpl. Andrew Adams: A well-intentioned military man with a soulful disposition, who is out of his element. (season 1)[18]
  • Sandrine Holt as Dr. Bethany Exner: A confident and skilled doctor. (season 1)[19]

Pacific CoastEdit

  • Daniel Zovatto as Jack Kipling: A member of the pirates who develops an attraction to Alicia. (season 2)[20]
  • Arturo Del Puerto as Luis Flores: An ally and right-hand man of Victor Strand and Thomas Abigail. (season 2)[21]

MexicoEdit

  • Dougray Scott as Thomas Abigail: Strand's boyfriend and the namesake of the boat Abigail. (season 2)[22]
  • Marlene Forte as Celia Flores: Luis's mother. (season 2)[23]
  • Paul Calderón as Alejandro Nuñez: A pharmacist and leader of La Colonia, a community in Tijuana, Mexico, he claims to have been bitten, but did not die. (season 2)[24]
  • Alejandro Edda as Marco Rodriguez: The leader of the gang who live near La Colonia. (season 2)
  • Karen Bethzabe as Elena Reyes: The Rosario Beach hotel manager who helps Alicia. (season 2; guest season 3)[25]
  • Ramses Jimenez as Hector Reyes: Elena's nephew who used to manage the hotel with her. (season 2; guest season 3)
  • Andres Londono as Oscar Diaz: The leader of a group of survivors living at a hotel. (season 2)[26]
  • Raul Casso as Andrés Diaz: Oscar's brother. (season 2)
  • Brenda Strong as Ilene Stowe: A member of the wedding party and mother-in-law of Oscar. (season 2; guest season 3)[27]
  • Kelly Blatz as Brandon Luke: The leader of a group of young men that befriend Chris. (season 2)[28]
  • Kenny Wormald as Derek: A member of Brandon's group. (season 2)[29]

The RanchEdit

  • Michael Greyeyes as Qaletaqa Walker: A Native American in a war with Jeremiah Otto, who occupies his lands. (season 3)
  • Michael William Freeman as Blake Sarno: A member of Broke Jaw Ranch's militia. (season 3)
  • Justin Rain as Lee "Crazy Dog": The right-hand man of Qaletaqa. (season 3)
  • Matt Lasky as Cooper: A member of Broke Jaw Ranch's militia. (season 3)

The DamEdit

  • Jesse Borrego as Efrain Morales: A man who saves Daniel's life when he was injured by a fire. (season 3)
  • Ray McKinnon as Proctor John: The leader of the gang known as the Proctors. (season 3)

Baseball StadiumEdit

  • Sebastian Sozzi as Cole: A resident of the community within the baseball stadium. (season 4)[30]
  • Rhoda Griffis as Vivian: A resident of the community within the baseball stadium. (season 4)
  • Kenneth Wayne Bradley as Douglas: A resident of the community within the baseball stadium. (season 4)

The VulturesEdit

  • Kevin Zegers as Melvin: An antagonistic leader of the Vultures. (season 4)[31]
  • Evan Gamble as Ennis: A member of the Vultures. (season 4)[32]

Texas/MississippiEdit

EpisodesEdit

The first season consists of six episodes. The second season, comprising 15 episodes, premiered on April 10, 2016.[34][35][36] On April 15, 2016, AMC announced the series had been renewed for a 16-episode third season, which premiered on June 4, 2017.[37][38] In April 2017, AMC renewed the series for a 16-episode fourth season and announced that Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg would replace the departing Dave Erickson as showrunners.[39] The fourth season premiered on April 15, 2018.[40] On July 28, 2018, the series was renewed for a fifth season, which premiered on June 2, 2019.[41][42] On July 19, 2019, at Comic Con the show was renewed for season six to premiere in 2020.

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
16August 23, 2015 (2015-08-23)October 4, 2015 (2015-10-04)
215April 10, 2016 (2016-04-10)October 2, 2016 (2016-10-02)
316June 4, 2017 (2017-06-04)October 15, 2017 (2017-10-15)
416April 15, 2018 (2018-04-15)September 30, 2018 (2018-09-30)
5TBAJune 2, 2019 (2019-06-02)TBA

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

In September 2013, AMC announced they were developing a companion series to The Walking Dead,[43] which follows a different set of characters created by Robert Kirkman.[44] In September 2014, AMC ordered a pilot, which was written by Kirkman and Dave Erickson, and directed by Adam Davidson,[45] and is executive produced by Kirkman, Erickson, Gale Anne Hurd, and David Alpert, with Erickson serving as showrunner.[46] The project was originally known as Cobalt;[47] Kirkman confirmed, in March 2015, that the series would be titled Fear the Walking Dead.[48] On March 9, 2015, AMC announced it had ordered Fear the Walking Dead to series, with a two-season commitment. The series premiered on August 23, 2015.[49]

CastingEdit

 
The primary characters from the first season include (from left to right): Alicia, Nick, Madison, Travis, Liza, Chris, Daniel, Griselda, and Ofelia

In December 2014, the first four starring roles were cast: Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, the female lead; Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa, the male lead; Frank Dillane as Nick; and Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia.[50][51][52] In April and May 2015, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Mercedes Mason were announced as series regulars, both in unknown roles.[53][54]

In November 2017, it was confirmed that Lennie James who portrays Morgan Jones on The Walking Dead would crossover and join the main cast in the fourth season.[55] The fourth season also sees the additions of several new series regulars, played by Garret Dillahunt,[56] Jenna Elfman,[57] and Maggie Grace.[58]

In December 2018, it was reported that Rubén Blades, who last appeared in the series' third season, would return in the fifth season as Daniel Salazar.[59] In January 2019, it was reported that Austin Amelio would join the cast as Dwight, who last appeared in the eighth season of The Walking Dead.[17] On March 5, 2019, it was announced that Karen David had joined the main cast for the fifth season as Grace.[16]

FilmingEdit

Production of the pilot episode began in early 2015 and ended on February 6, 2015.[60][61] The pilot and early episodes were filmed in Los Angeles, including Woodrow Wilson High School;[62] the remaining first-season episodes were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[63][64] Production on the remaining five first-season episodes began on May 11, 2015.[5] Adam Davidson, who directed the pilot, also directed the series' second and third episodes.[5]

Filming for the second season began in December 2015, with production moving to Baja California, Mexico.[65] Locations included Rosarito (sea scenes and hotel) and Valle de Guadalupe (Abigail's vineyard). The sea scenes were filmed using a horizon tank at Baja Film Studios. An additional scene from the season one finale was filmed in The Sunken City, San Pedro, Los Angeles.[66] Filming for the third season began on January 6, 2017, in Baja California, Mexico, with some of the same location sites used for the second half of season two.[67] Additional locations in Tijuana Municipality included Avenida Revolución,[68] Abelardo L. Rodríguez Dam and the hills that hosted the Otto's ranch.[69]

Filming for the fourth season began in early 2018 in various locations around Austin, Texas, including the Dell Diamond baseball stadium in nearby Round Rock, the vacant Brackenridge Hospital in downtown Austin, and the flood-damaged Onion Creek neighborhood.[70] Filming for the fifth season began in December 2018. It was also confirmed by the showrunners that the season would be filmed in New Braunfels, Texas.[71]

BroadcastEdit

On August 23, 2015, the series debuted simultaneously worldwide on: AMC in the U.S.; AMC Global in major regional markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East;[72] and FX in Australia.[73] Hulu holds the show's video on demand rights in the U.S., while Amazon Instant Video owns the streaming rights in Austria and Germany, and will make episodes available online one day after their original airing. Streaming in the United Kingdom became available to Amazon Prime members in 2016.[74][75]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

Season Critical response
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 77% (62 reviews)[76] 66 (33 reviews)[77]
2 70% (30 reviews)[78] 54 (12 reviews)[79]
3 83% (6 reviews)[80] N/A
4 81% (6 reviews)[81] N/A
5 67% (13 reviews)[82] N/A

Season 1Edit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season has a rating of 77%, based on 62 reviews, whose average rating is 6.76/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fear the Walking Dead recycles elements of its predecessor, but it's still moody and engrossing enough to compete with the original."[76] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[77]

Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post rated the first two episodes three out of four stars, stating that "[They] are creepily suspenseful–they're great examples of how effective a slow pace and a moody atmosphere can be."[83] Another positive review of the first episode came from Ken Tucker of Yahoo TV, who wrote, "Fear the Walking Dead is a mood piece, more artful than the original series" and that the cast is "terrific".[84] Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter gave an average review, writing, "The 90-minute first episode and the hour-long second episode are, while not actually boring, certainly less magnetic than the original."[85]

One of the harshest negative reviews came from HitFix, on Daniel Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall's podcast, where Fienberg called the premiere episode "awful, just horrible ... as bad as The Walking Dead has ever gotten at its very worst. This is that bad. I've been kind of stunned to see people being generous to it. ... I thought this was almost unwatchably bad." Sepinwall called his B− review "slightly generous".[86][87]

Season 2Edit

The second season received mostly mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a rating of 70%, based on 30 reviews, whose average rating is 6.59/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fear the Walking Dead sets sail in its sophomore season with an intriguing backdrop that doesn't always disguise its deficiencies in comparison to its predecessor."[78] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 54 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[79]

Season 3Edit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the third season has an approval rating of 83% based on 6 reviews, with an average rating of 7.26/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A distinctive ensemble brings a compelling flavor of Fear the Walking Dead mythos, but this ambitious spinoff still shares its originator's penchant longwinded pacing that may diminish the tension for some viewers."[80] In his season review for IGN, Matt Fowler gave it an 8.2 out of 10 and wrote, "Fear the Walking Dead more solidly found its tone and voice this season by embracing the arid landscape, ramping up the human-on-human conflict, and rallying around Kim Dickens' anti-hero mom, Madison, as the driving character" and that it is now "a better series overall than The Walking Dead".[88]

Season 4Edit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the fourth season has an approval rating of 81% based on 6 reviews, with an average rating of 6.86/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fear the Walking Dead shuffles onward confidently in its fourth season with a bevy of horrifying set-pieces and heartbreaking twists, but some viewers may be dispirited by the series' constant reshuffling of its characters."[81] TVLine reevaluated the series for its fourth season, giving it a grade of a "B+". Reviewer Charlie Mason wrote, "it's gone from being an adequate stopgap between seasons of The Walking Dead to a show that's as good or arguably even better than the one from which it was spun off." He also praised the addition of Jenna Elfman and Garret Dillahunt and that season 4 has had several genuine surprises in its storytelling.[89]

Season 5Edit

On Rotten Tomatoes, the fifth season has a rating of 67% based on 13 reviews, with an average rating of 6.14/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Though it's pace has grown stiff, Fear the Walking Dead finds ghoulish innovations within its zombie formula while broadening the Walker universe."[82]

RatingsEdit

The U.S. series premiere attracted 10.1 million total viewers, with 6.3 million in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic, both cable television records for a series premiere.[90][91] Numerous international debuts of the pilot also set ratings records.[72] The first season averaged 11.2 million viewers in "live plus-3" ratings (includes VOD and DVR viewing within three days after initial telecast) to become the highest-rated first season of any series in cable history.[92]

Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired Avg. viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
Date Viewers
(millions)
1 Sunday 9:00 pm 6 August 23, 2015 (2015-08-23) 10.13[93] October 4, 2015 (2015-10-04) 6.86[94] 7.61[95]
2 15 April 10, 2016 (2016-04-10) 6.67[96] October 2, 2016 (2016-10-02) 3.05[97] 4.19[98]
3 16 June 4, 2017 (2017-06-04) 3.11[99] October 15, 2017 (2017-10-15) 2.23[100] 2.36[101]
4 16[a] April 15, 2018 (2018-04-15) 4.09[102] September 30, 2018 (2018-09-30) 2.13[103] 2.27[104]
5 16 June 2, 2019 (2019-06-02) 1.97[105] TBA TBD TBD
  1. ^ The premiere episode aired outside of its regular time at Sunday 10:00 pm.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
2015 E! Online Best. Ever. TV. Awards New Show You're Most Excited to See Fear the Walking Dead Won [106]
2016 42nd Saturn Awards Best Horror Television Series Fear the Walking Dead Nominated [107]
Best Actress on Television Kim Dickens Nominated
Best Performance by a Younger Actor on Television Frank Dillane Nominated
E! Online TV Scoop Awards Female Breakout Star Alycia Debnam-Carey Won [108]
2017 43rd Saturn Awards Best Horror Television Series Fear the Walking Dead Nominated [109]
Best Actress on a Television Series Kim Dickens Nominated
Best Younger Actor on a Television Series Alycia Debnam-Carey Nominated
Lorenzo James Henrie Nominated
2018 16th Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode Peter Crosman, Denise Gayle, Philip Nussbaumer, Martin Pelletier, Frank Ludica for "Sleigh Ride" Nominated [110]
44th Saturn Awards Best Horror Television Series Fear the Walking Dead Nominated [111]
Best Performance by a Younger Actor on a Television Series Alycia Debnam-Carey Nominated
Best Guest-Starring Performance on Television Michael Greyeyes Nominated
2019 45th Saturn Awards Best Horror Television Series Fear the Walking Dead Pending [112]
Best Supporting Actor on a Television Series Lennie James Pending
Best Guest-Starring Performance on a Television Series Sydney Lemmon Pending
Tonya Pinkins Pending

Web seriesEdit

Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462Edit

Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462, a 16-part web series, premiered on October 4, 2015, on AMC.com; it also aired as promos during The Walking Dead season 6. Two of the web series' characters, Alex (previously known as Charlie) and Jake, are introduced in Fear the Walking Dead season 2, episode 3 ("Ouroboros").[113]

Fear the Walking Dead: PassageEdit

A second 16-part web series debuted on October 17, 2016, and episodes were made available online weekly and aired as promos during the seventh season of The Walking Dead. The web series follows Sierra, a capable survivor, who helps an injured woman named Gabi as they try to find sanctuary. The series was written by Lauren Signorino and Mike Zunic, and directed by Andrew Bernstein.[114]

Home mediaEdit

The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 1, 2015.[115] A special edition version of the first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22, 2016, with new bonus features, including deleted scenes, seven featurettes, and audio commentaries by cast and crew, on all six episodes.[116] The second season, featuring audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and various behind-the-scene featurettes, was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 13, 2016.[117] The third season, featuring audio commentaries and deleted scenes, was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 13, 2018.[118] The fourth season, featuring four audio commentaries, was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 5, 2019.[119]

LawsuitEdit

In July 2018, Mel Smith, the creator of the comic book series Dead Ahead, filed a lawsuit against AMC Studios charging that the second season of Fear the Walking Dead stole thematic elements from Dead Ahead, specifically a group of survivors attempting to flee a zombie apocalypse by a boat. The lawsuit also includes David Alpert, who was Smith's agent and who remains a business partner with Robert Kirkman, and who is one of Fear's executive producers; Smith's lawsuit asserts that Alpert violated his fiduciary duty to protect Smith's interests when he began working on Fear. AMC attempted to have the lawsuit dismissed, stating that once one stripped out generic elements of the zombie genre, there were no further similarities between the works. In February 2019, judge Lucy Koh rejected this, believing that it would be necessary to have a discovery phase and expert testimony to evaluate AMC's stance.[120]

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