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For those not otherwise engaged on the shank-end of 2013, this . . . an all-you-can eat "Breaking Bad" and "Walking Dead" marathon. (Come to think of it, scratch the phrase "all you can eat" in the context of anything to do with "The Walking Dead." Let's just call this a binge party!)
The binge party begins Dec. 27, and herewith the details:
"A four-day Breaking Bad marathon, which kicks off at noon ET/PT each day from Friday, Dec. 27 through Monday, Dec. 30, will feature every episode from the series’ critically acclaimed five seasons, making AMC the only destination for cable subscribers to watch every Breaking Bad episode for free. On New Year’s Eve day, Dec. 31, at 9 a.m. ET/PT, AMC will air a two-day marathon of The Walking Dead. Beginning with the pilot, episodes will air back-to-back in chronological order until 5 a.m. ET on Jan. 2, 2014."
Let's call this a post for anyone out there who was actually wondering whether "The Walking Dead" would be back for a fifth season. Yes, rest assured, "The Walking Dead" will be back for a fifth season. Even Charlie Collier, AMC chief, seemed bemused by the redundancy of even having to announce that the most viewed, non-sports, cable series in history -- and TV's most viewed this season -- would be coming back.
“We are very happy to make what has to be one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever: The Walking Dead is renewed for a fifth season,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president..
But what may be notable in this announcement is the visible display of support for Scott Gimple, who "will return as series' showrunner..." As fans know, repeat engagements on this series are hardly a sure bet, and in fact, AMC and "Dead" have run through a couple of high profile show-runners, including Frank Darabont.
But this season's numbers are so huge, and the series really does look like it's firing on all cylinders, that even the barest hint of backstage intrigue or drama would seem churlish indeed. Or ill-placed.
Those numbers? Well, the season's first episode was seen by 20.2 million viewers, when video-on-demand tag-alongs were factored in.
Here's an amusing two-minute diversion for the Walking Deadheads among us: Lauren Cohan (Maggie) discusses her beauty secrets on "The Walking Dead."
Hey, it's not so easy looking good with zombie brain splattered on your brow.
Newsday app readers please check this out at newsday.com/tvzone — unless the site of zombie brain is disturbing to you. Next clip is amusing too - oh sure, it's promotional, but what the heck:
"The Walking Dead," which returned for its fourth season Sunday, reached a plateau not seen over those four seasons to date, and certainly not one anticipated either, considering that the face-eating, gut-consuming undead are behind this record: 16.1 million viewers, or the third highest viewership total for any entertainment program on TV of the fall season so far ("CSI" and "The Big Bang Theory" remain ahead in that category.)
"Dead" could not overtake "Sunday Night Football" either -- 19.7 million. However, "Dead" easily remains TV's highest-rated show among young adults, 18-49, so far this season.
The season premiere could and also should overtake that football figure, however, when playback figures -- so-called video on demand ratings -- are incorporated into the total later this week.
"The Walking Dead" is back this Sunday, and no time like the present to offer the Newsday take on what to expect, and how to prepare yourself, and when you should walk away from the TV set or at least when you should avert your eyes. And so on. Here's the review . . .
"The Walking Dead," AMC, Sunday, 9
What it's about: Ah, prison life at the West Georgia Correctional...Read more »
What would you do if you ran AMC and were about to see the end of "Breaking Bad," and "Mad Men" in a couple years, and soggy ratings for your newest launch, "Low Winter Sun?" You'd launch a spinoff or companion to "The Walking Dead" -- that's what you'd do. You'd also call Robert Kirkman, "Dead" creator, to see if he has a few more stories...Read more »
Here's a nice little behind-the-scenes clip -- gratis AMC -- of Robert Kirkman touring the set of "The Walking Dead." (Kirkman is, as fans know, the creator.) No walkers in sight.
(App users, watch the video at newsday.com/tvzone.)
Clever AMC is pitching this "The Walking Dead" sneak peek to the press with a little hitch: You, the viewer, must first watch a promo for "Low Winter Sun." Personally, I like "Low Winter Sun," but appear to be in the minority on that one if ratings are an indcation. Hence, the unusual construct of this "sneak peek."
Nevertheless, watch this "Sun"-promo-first-then-"Dead"-peek-next thingamajig. It's a short amount of time not badly spent...