When AMC recently announced its Walking Dead "companion show" (not a spinoff, the network is quick to note), the name wasn't a hit with every fan.
Fear the Walking Dead seemed a bit phoned-in to some viewers, who of course weren't too shy about taking their opinions to Twitter:
"Fear the Walking Dead" may be the dumbest name of a spin off in the history of television. My toddler agrees, and she's a mfkn princess
— Leo (@Cigar_Arsonist) March 30, 2015
fear the walking dead is a horrible name
— xander uwu (@acesherIock) April 7, 2015
cant wait for fear the walking dead despite the awful name
— jess from accounting (@twitlongeregui) March 30, 2015
Today, speaking at the broadcast megaconference NAB Show in Las Vegas, Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman defended the name, though he stopped short of praising it too highly.
"You don't want to call it The Walking Dead: Los Angeles, you know?" Kirkman told the crowd. "That would be so easy, so obvious. It's the exact wrong thing for what we want to do."
Instead, Kirkman said they went with a name that focuses the attention back on the zombies, marking a different tone from the main show's current focus on human threats and interpersonal tension.
"To me, it means a lot of things," Kirkman said. "It's taking us back to a time when the walking dead were more dangerous and more of a daily threat. So there is good reason to fear the walking dead."
Scant details have been released about the new show, except that it appears to begin in the earliest days of the zombie outbreak.
Kirkman wouldn't elaborate much more today, but he did comment on a few things Fear the Walking Dead won't be: a direct prequel to the main show or an explanation of what started the apocalypse.
"It's not a prequel in that we're not going to end this first season with Rick waking up from his coma," Kirkman said, referencing the events shown in Walking Dead's pilot.
As for the origin of the zombie outbreak, Kirkman said it's just not a plot line that he thinks would lead to interesting story arcs.
"It's not the priority in Walking Dead. It's not the priority in Fear the Walking Dead," Kirkman said. "It's not about fixing this world, and it's not about learning what the cause is."
So does Kirkman actually have an official reason in mind for why the dead began to walk? Yes, though he doesn't plan to share it with viewers.
"I know the origins of the zombie apocalypse," he told the NAB Show audience. "I just think it's boring to explain it."