While the undead still rule the horror roost over the likes of sparkly vampires and CGI werewolves, it is inevitable that the zombie market is bound to soon hit a saturation point. With big budget offers like World War Z down to indie gems like Jeff Monahan’s Corpsing, zombies have reached a mainstream appeal that keeps our rotten bellies as full as we can stuff them.

When AMC announced this week a spin-off series to The Walking Dead (arguably the standard bearer for the genre), the online response reached near “Bat-Fleck” proportions. Comic purists will likely drift even further away from the spin-off while those who still have the hunger for more are ready to sink their teeth into another piece of the Walking Dead universe.

While spin-offs like Better Call Saul (a Breaking Bad spin-off for those who have been living under a giant rock) won’t affect the source material because the original show will be off the air, the Walking Dead spin-off risks the chance of sullying the brand if poorly executed. Despite the risks of media “over-zombification” and possible poor writing/acting, there are five things AMC can do to maximize their chances of success with this new series.

5. Keep Rick’s Crew Away From It

The Walking Dead

Think of it this way: If George Clooney shows up for 20 seconds in a two hour independent film, the film becomes about that 20 seconds. Now you have an hour and a half of wondering if someone else from Oceans 11 might pop up.

It would be unfair to the new characters if they bump into Glenn and Maggie while they are out on a supply run. At that point everyone would be focusing on the possible crossovers, future encounters, a movie version featuring both crews (a la Star Trek Generations) rather than the story at hand.

Rick and company have plenty to contend with in their own little corner of paradise. Leave them to it.

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