Viewers who are a bit squeamish may appreciate the new deal for the Walking Dead to appear on network TV this fall, minus the gore. A problem for some fans, as well as those who have not given the series a try due to its reputation for a bloody zombie drama, is that the Walking Dead is too intense.
The show’s whole premise is on what happens in an apocalypse when those who die turn into zombies. The characters quickly learn that in order to survive, they have to kill the zombies or get bit and become one of them. This lends itself to some gruesome scenes, in which zombies attack, zombies are killed and zombies eat the flesh off of people.
Anyone who watches the Walking Dead knows, however, knows that the real threat in the apocalypse is not the zombies, but the other survivors. People who were either bad before the apocalypse or have changed due to the harsh new world they live in do not seem to have trouble taking each other out when they feel it is necessary. They do what they have to do to survive, and sometimes that means killing off some of their own. That is not to mention the completely crazy and dangerous characters, like The Governor, who was out for blood.
The reason producers of the Walking Dead have been able to get away with the excessive gore is because the show airs on cable TV. AMC operates under a different set of rules than their competing station on network TV.
A press release indicates that MyNetWorkTV will air back-to-back reruns of the Walking Dead next fall, but did not indicate a specific day or time. The big difference will be the amount of editing that will have to take place to make it a family friendly show. For the most part, the Walking Dead is considered appropriate for mature audiences. MyNetWorkTV plans to air watered down, older episodes of the Walking Dead with a TV-14 rating.
The show has grown its fan base with each of the four season so far and they hope to gain new viewers by making the episodes available to their key demographics, the 18 to 49-year-olds. Frank Cicha of the FOX Television Stations stated that they are excited to bring one of TVs most popular shows to their station.
While the storyline will remain the same, the reruns of the Walking Dead are less likely to show scenes like Hershel getting his leg chopped off, Hershel getting his head chopped off, zombies being brutally stabbed in the head, the torture scenes that The Governor initiated or the beating that Rick took that brought him within inches of his life.
What will likely happen is that they will keep the drama that the Walking Dead is known for, using the scenes that build up suspense, but not actually showing the moments that are full of blood and gore. It needs to be toned down in order to appear on network TV.
Opinion by Tracy Rose