AMC/SundanceTV Executives Talk ‘Prestige Popcorn’ and New Drama Slate

AMC has the high-class problem of having a massive hit series that lifts all boats on the channel. But with a smash like “The Walking Dead” comes pressure to capitalize on that success by offering strong companion series.

David Madden, newly appointed president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios, said Saturday during AMC’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour that a key focus for him is finding genre fare that will encourage “The Walking Dead” audience to stick around. Madden joined AMC in September after a long run at Fox and Fox 21 Television Studios.

“We’re looking for things we’re internally calling ‘prestige popcorn’: thoughtful genre shows that are truly human but immersive and fan-focused,” Madden said. He noted that for all the shock and special effects on “Walking Dead,” the show turns on “deep relationships and big emotional themes.”

At the same time, AMC still looks
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