"The Walking Dead" executive producer Gale Anne Hurd recently revealed some of what audiences can expect from AMC's hit zombie series and the challenges presented by its expanded season.
Featuring 16 episodes for Season 3, "The Walking Dead" returns this fall following a wildly successful sophomore season, which broke a basic cable record when it pulled in 9 million viewers for its action-packed finale, "Beside the Dying Fire."
"It's really a marathon this year," Hurd said. "The challenge is maintaining the same intense level of storytelling that our audience expects of us, and we certainly plan to deliver on that.
"It's really important to focus on making the story as richly character-driven as possible because the scares and the sense of jeopardy only come with identifying with those characters when they're in jeopardy."
Hurd, who produced such hit films as "The Terminator" and "Aliens," promises that Season 3 will feature a dramatic change of scenery to the series, puppeted animatronic zombies and many new characters, including Michonne (Danai Gurira) and The Governor (David Morrissey).
"I will say that I loved the farm, but it is good to be off the farm," she said. "And the contrast between our [two main sets] this season is so great ... We're setting up this first community that is functioning in a post-zombie apocalypse. We get to see not only the advantages of putting civilization back on its feet again but also the dark forces at work in what may seem like a Utopia."
"The Walking Dead" follows police officer Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) as he leads his family and a group of survivors across the country in search of a safe home as zombie hordes threaten their every move.
Lincoln ("Love, Actually," "Teachers") was recently nominated during the 2012 Airlock Alpha Portal Awards for Best Actor/Television. See our story here.
In 2011, the series earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series - Drama and won the 2011 Emmy Award for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup.
"The Walking Dead" also stars Steven Yeun, Sarah Wayne Callies ("Prison Break"), Chandler Riggs ("Get Low") and Laurie Holden ("Shield").
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