The Walking Dead might not always be a perfect television show, but fans of the zombie survival drama should thank their lucky stars that creator Robert Kirkman didn’t accept an offer from NBC.
According to show producer Gale Anne Hurd in this Variety piece, NBC wanted to tweak the idea of the show in a way though would have made it almost unrecognizable from what it is today.
Before the show was picked up by AMC for domestic and Fox for international, its creator Frank Darabont presented the first version of the script to NBC, with whom he had an overall deal. According to Hurd, their response was, “Do there have to be zombies [in it].” NBC then asked Darabont if the show could be a procedural in which the two main protagonists would “solve a zombie crime of the week,” she said.
They wanted a procedural crime drama! Just imagine Detective Rick Grimes and his partner Daryl Dixon hitting the pavement every week to solve the latest case of a zombie breaking the law. Piecing together the clues and shaking down witnesses. That would actually be one of the worst things ever. It’s would be like Law and Order: Hungry Walker Unit or CSI: Terminus. No thanks.
Thankfully, AMC wanted a more traditional adaptation of the hit comic series. The rest, as they say, is history.