MyNetworkTV Gobbles Up Off-Net Rights to The Walking Dead

Zombie apocalypse drama comes to broadcast in the fall

The Walking Dead is staggering its way toward a date with broadcast TV.

Beginning this fall, the AMC zombie apocalypse thriller will begin airing on MyNetworkTV, making the 21st Century Fox asset the exclusive broadcast home to television’s highest-rated show.

This marks the first off-net deal for The Walking Dead, which is currently averaging a jaw-dropping 6.7 rating in the all-important adults 18-49 demo. (Two episodes remain in this, the fourth season.)

Financial terms were not disclosed.

MyNetwork TV will stack two repeats of The Walking Dead on a yet-to-be-determined weeknight. Given the show’s reliance on nightmarish violence—the ambulatory corpses that regularly feed on the surviving human population are big on tearing into viscera and can only be destroyed by catastrophic brain trauma—the episodes will require a good deal of editing if MyTV is to comply with Federal Communications Commission regulations.

Sources with knowledge of the deal said that the repurposed episodes will be rated TV-14. For the sake of context, some broadcast shows that carry the TV-14 rating include NBC’s Revolution and The Blacklist, the CW’s Supernatural, Fox’s Sleepy Hollow and CBS’ Criminal Minds.

“We are fired up that MyNetworkTV will be the exclusive broadcast home to The Walking Dead,” said Greg Meidel, president of 20th Television, by way of announcing the deal. “As we enter the 2014 upfront, the blockbuster program, which breaks the mold of conventional television, further enhances [our] slate of hit comedies, dramas and first-run programming.”

The Walking Dead joins a stable of MyTV off-net programming that includes Law & Order: Criminal Intent, House, Bones and Monk.

“It’s not often you get to add the hottest show on the planet to your lineup,” said Frank Cicha, svp of programming of the Fox Television Stations. “We just did, and it’s a tremendous get.”

Launched in 2006, MyTV is distributed in 186 of the country’s 210 DMAs and reaches 97 percent of all TV homes.