Kirkman’s L.A.-set Walking Dead spinoff gets 2-season order. Here’s our first look

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Mar 10, 2015, 10:50 AM EDT

Considering The Walking Dead is the biggest show on television, AMC wants to go ahead and make it official — that upcoming spinoff series will be sticking around for a while.

The network has placed a preemptive two-season order for the L.A.-set spinoff series, which is reportedly a prequel series focusing on the early days of the zombie outbreak chronicled in the mothership series. An official title for the show has yet to be announced, though it's been going by the code names Cobalt and Fear The Walking Dead (which is apparently the title of the pilot) during development.

The first season will reportedly consist of six episodes, just like the debut run for the main series, which should serve almost like a miniseries to set up the new locale and characters. No word on exactly how many episodes year two will comprise, but if the flagship series is any indication, we’d think something around 13 episodes could be likely if the spinoff proves to be a hit. Season one will premiere in "late summer" of this year.

Along with the not-so-surprising pre-renewal, the network has finally revealed the first few photos from the pilot episode. They show off leading actors Cliff Curtis (Gang Related) as high school teacher Sean Cabrera and Kim Dickens (Sons of Anarchy) as a guidance counselor at the same school. They seem to have stumbled upon an (un)dead body, and we’d guess they’ll be seeing a lot more of those soon. Here’s what the bigwigs at AMC had to say about the news:

AMC president Charlie Collier: “We take incredibly seriously the notion of building a satisfying companion series to the No. 1 show on television. From the beginning of The Walking Dead on AMC, we’ve been asked questions about what was going on in other parts of the zombie apocalypse, and what it looked like as the world really did ‘turn.’ Through this new series, we’re going to find out. Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson and their writing team, along with an incomparable set of producers, cast and crew have created something remarkable and clearly distinct. We respectfully follow the request of Monty Python as we bring out (the latest of) our Dead.”

Creator Robert Kirkman:“We feel empowered by this two-season commitment, a serious show of faith from our network partner AMC. I personally take it as a sign that they believe, like we do, that we've accomplished our goal of developing something original that can pay tribute to the original show and expand the world I created while at the same time having something new to say with this story. I’m very grateful that we now have the opportunity to tell this amazing story and show the fans that we really haven't scratched the surface yet when it comes to The Walking Dead.”

With the flagship series firing on all cylinders this year, we’re anxious to see how this shakes out. Aside from Cabrera and Dickens, the rest of the cast largely skews young, so we need that pilot episode to put our fears to rest that this isn’t shaping up to be The Walking Dead: 90210. The sight of a dead body in the first photo is a positive sign.

What are you expecting from the Walking Dead spinoff series?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)