March 2, 2013

THE SKED @ PALEYFEST 2013: “The Walking Dead”

More articles by »
Written by: Mitch Salem
Tags: , , , , , ,


Spoilers were scarce at tonight’s opening THE WALKING DEAD panel at the 30th annual Paley Center For Media William S. Paley Television Festival, aka PaleyFest, which celebrates current TV with screenings and Q &As over the next two weeks.  The festival has changed its format, apparently to accommodate a uniform start time for live streaming of several of the panels (at, with the result that one-hour series, at least, will no longer be able to show a full upcoming episode to attendees.  At tonight’s session, the screening included just a 10-minute tease for this coming Sunday’s Walking Dead, plus a few of the standard “making-of” featurettes you’d find on a DVD.  (When that zombie’s arms were chopped off?  Those were totally fake!)

The panel itself was moderated by Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick, and while he was personable and certainly knowledgeable about the show, and sometimes quite funny (especially when he railed against an audience member who protested a “spoiler” from an episode that aired months ago), he’s not exactly the guy you’d go to for hard-hitting questions.  There wasn’t a single mention of the recent change in command behind the scenes at the show (and neither ousted showrunner Glen Mazzara nor newly-appointed successor Scott Gimple were in attendance), and the questions were mostly concerned with the actors’ impressions of their roles or else of the “How did you feel when…?” variety.  If anyone seriously doubted that Rick (Andrew Lincoln) would eventually conquer his recent inner demons and become a leader again, or that Michonne (Danai Gurira) would gradually become more socialized with the group, their worries would have been eased by a couple of the answers, but otherwise the 7 cast members and 4 executive producers were very well-behaved and careful in what they disclosed.  The most interesting part of the proceedings was probably watching Laurie Holden repeatedly defend the actions of her character Andrea and her recent romance with the evil Governor (David Morrissey, not present tonight) with a proprietary tenaciousness that was almost bitter.  When Holden said that she’s confronted on a daily basis by anti-Andreans at gas stations, in restaurants, or simply walking down the street, you didn’t doubt her for a moment. Oh, and as of tonight, Andrew Lincoln knows what a “meme” is.

We’ll be attending several more of the PaleyFest panels, and will hopefully have some more meaningful insights to pass along from less tight-lipped participants.


About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."