Robert Kirkman, who executive produces this show along with the main one, first gave the basic character rundown to Entertainment Weekly: "Fear" follows two schoolteachers, widow Madison (Kim Dickens) and divorced Travis (Cliff Curtis), who are very much in love. They both have kids from previous relationships: Madison has a high-achieving high-school daughter named Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and a dropout son named Nick (Frank Dillane); Travis has a son, Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie), who resents Travis for breaking up with his mom (Elizabeth Rodriguez).
Dave Erickson talked to TVLine and The Hollywood Reporter about the feel of the first season and plan for what's to come.
TVLine: "Will these first six episodes feel like a miniseries?"
Erickson: "It's written as a six-hour movie and that's the feel we want to have. That said, we're building to a place of emotional fracture for our characters and getting to a place where we will definitely be setting up the emotional conflicts that we want to either heal or continue to fracture over the course of Season 2. We'll be ready from an emotional standpoint to launch into the next season, [but] it'll also be a satisfying ending."
The Hollywood Reporter: "Do you want to stay with a six-episode season or follow more of the original and grow to 13 and then 16?"
Erickson: "I would imagine the network has a very specific plan. I think 13 is a great number; 15, 16, it's really a question of having the time to sit down and make sure we're not burning story to burn story; that we're able to build something that's layered and textured and compelling. I think it's a safe bet that if things go well, they'll probably want more rather than less, but I'm not sure what that number's going to be."
THR: "As for the duration of the Fear, what's your long-term goal? Do you see this as a show that's running for five, six, seven seasons?"
Erickson: "About five or six. The more we dig into it, the more we'll find. The original show is at least another few seasons based on the material that Robert has written for the comic already, and that serves as a guiding light. I like endings, and — I haven't discussed this with Robert but I think it's more of a question for us to discuss when we sit down and really start breaking season two — on Sons, Kurt Sutter had a certain number in his head. He knew there was a certain number of seasons that felt right to him. I don't have a specific set number of seasons in my head right now. I do think that the burden at a certain point, when you cross that 10-year mark ... it can be pretty challenging. I've got some of mile markers, which don't take me that long as of yet, but I can't really say because it's an AMC question."
AMC already gave a green light to FTWD Season 2, but we'll have to see what they do for episode counts, and where they place the show in the 2016 schedule. The main show also started with six episodes, then upped to 13 in Season 2, then went to the 16-episode format it retains into Season 6, which premieres in October. It's a good point to bring up how the main TWD show is tied to Kirkman's comic, which gives a hint on its direction, but FTWD is completely untethered so it's hard to know where it will go or how long it might be around.
Are you getting excited for "Fear" or just afraid that it might, you know, bite?
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