The first half of the seventh season of The Walking Dead has been controversial among fans, especially for its level of graphic violence, which was extreme, even for a show about zombies. The season premiere showed brutal killings of main characters—with a barbed wire baseball bat.

Now, the producers are going to make some changes.

The show’s executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, told Variety that the blowback from fans actually caused the creative changes:

We were able to look at the feedback on the level of violence. We did tone it down for episodes we were still filming for later on in the season … This is not a show that is torture porn.

The Walking Dead returns on February 12. Discuss

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Walking Dead writer/producer Robert Kirkman appeared at a SXSW panel this weekend and explained some details about the upcoming Walking Dead spin-off series, currently in the works. First off, Kirkman revealed that the yet-to-be-titled series wouldn’t have anything to do with the source material: “It’s not going to relate to the comics at all.” Instead, it would focus on other groups of survivors, and even though it would begin before the events of The Walking Dead, the timelines of the two shows will eventually intersect:

The intent of the new show is to expand that world and show another corner of the United States and what’s happening there. The timeline is taking place a little bit earlier timeframe than the original show … I wouldn’t call it ‘prequel’ because the entirety of the show is not going take place before [The Walking Dead]. It will eventually form a path running concurrently.

And though Kirkman emphasized that both shows would be stand-alone series, he did leave open the possibility for narrative crossovers in the storylines. If yet another Hollywood comic-book series spin-off has you frustrated about the lack of innovation from TV and movie storytellers, at least Kirkman maintained a degree of self-awareness about the whole idea: “And then we’re going to cross it over for an Avengers movie and it will be great” ... Discuss

The upcoming, yet-to-be titled Walking Dead spinoff has found its lead. According to Deadline, Kim Dickens, who most recently drew attention for her role in David Fincher’s Gone Girl, will star as a guidance counselor and mother of two who “looks like the girl next door but has a darkness to her, a troubled past that will come back to haunt her.” Actor Cliff Curtis will play the male lead, a co-worker who is in a relationship with Dickens' character. Robert Kirkman, the man behind the original Walking Dead graphic novel, created the series, which takes place during the same zombie takeover, but in a different location ... Discuss

Just days after AMC announced that it was working on a Saul-themed Breaking Bad spin-off series (to be titled Better Call Saul), the cable network released a statement saying that it is working on a new show that takes place in the Walking Dead universe. The new, yet-to-be-titled series (we’d like to suggest, Walking Dead: The College Years), which hits primetime in 2015, won’t be based on any existing characters, but will instead follow a totally different group of zombie apocalypse survivors. In the statement, series creator Robert Kirkman said, “The opportunity to make a show that isn’t tethered by the events of the comic book, and is truly a blank page, has set my creativity racing.” Now, all we need is a Mad Men spin-off, and AMC will be good to go for the next five years … Discuss

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