Skip to main content

HBO Passed On The Walking Dead Because It Was Too Violent. Have You Met Game of Thrones?

You know nothing Jon Snow

Robert Kirkman’s television adaptation of his comic, The Walking Dead, was shopped around to several networks before finding a home at AMC. I could understand zombies being a tough sell at any network considering what goes into making them but that’s not the reason folks like NBC and HBO passed. No, they passed because they feared The Walking Dead was too violent. 

Emmy-winning makeup effects artist and recently appointed co-executive producer of The Walking Dead, Greg Nicotero, did an interview with The Huffington Post where he discussed, among other things, how the TSA ignore his fake-blood splattered shoes at the airport.

“They’re far more concerned with whether I still have loose change in my pocket before I got through their scanner,” he told them. “The fact that my shoes make it look like I may have just killed someone prior to arriving at the airport is really none of their concern. But making sure that I don’t have any metal on me before I go through their X-ray machine, that’s important.”

But Nicotero finds himself constantly surprised at the mainstream success the show, which he considered to be in a niche market and says executive producer Gale Anne Hurd played a big part in that. Most especially when she wouldn’t budge on the show’s content. Apparently both NBC and HBO were thinking of picking it up but asked her if they could tone down the violence and gore. She said no and they brought the project to other networks. “Thank goodness we wound up at AMC,” said Nicotero. “They totally get this show.”

Are you as surprised as I am HBO would have asked them to tone down the violence? NBC I can understand but HBO has a long history of violence in their original series.

(via ScreenCrush)

Previously in The Walking Dead

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Jill Pantozzi is a pop-culture journalist and host who writes about all things nerdy and beyond! She’s Editor in Chief of the geek girl culture site The Mary Sue (Abrams Media Network), and hosts her own blog “Has Boobs, Reads Comics” ( She co-hosts the Crazy Sexy Geeks podcast along with superhero historian Alan Kistler, contributed to a book of essays titled “Chicks Read Comics,” (Mad Norwegian Press) and had her first comic book story in the IDW anthology, “Womanthology.” In 2012, she was featured on National Geographic’s "Comic Store Heroes," a documentary on the lives of comic book fans and the following year she was one of many Batman fans profiled in the documentary, "Legends of the Knight."