The Watchman: End-of-the-World Fun on Amazon; AMC Goes Beyond 'The Walking Dead'

Amazon's 'Utopia'

(Image credit: Amazon Studios)

End-of-the-World Fun on Amazon 

Utopia is on Amazon Prime. A group of young people come together when they discover that the conspiracy in a comic that foretells the demise of humanity is, in fact, real. 

That demise-of-humanity thing might feel a bit timely. “The show does feature a panic-inducing viral outbreak,” executive producer Jessica Rhoades said. “But it’s more about how different groups of people band together to save the world.”

The show is inspired by a U.K. series of the same name that ran 2013-2014. Exec producer Gillian Flynn added Dr. Christie, played by John Cusack, to the U.S. series. “I think viewers will see a John that they haven’t seen before,” said Rhoades. 

Rhoades and Flynn previously worked on HBO’s Sharp Objects. Rhoades received a bunch of Utopia scripts and read them until the wee hours. “It’s a different side of Gillian,” she said, with lots of “wicked humor.”

Tong Wars Brought to Life on Cinemax 

Martial arts drama Warrior begins season two on Cinemax Oct. 2. Based on the writings of Bruce Lee, it’s about the brutal Tong Wars of San Francisco’s Chinatown in the 19th century. After proving his worth as a fighter, Ah Sahm becomes hatchet man for the Hop Wei gang. 

Warrior shoots in Cape Town. Creator Jonathan Tropper said producers needed to build a “self-contained world” — streets, alleys and buildings from 1800s California — and South Africa made
that possible. 

Immigration was a hot issue when Warrior takes place, and still is. “We tell a story from 1870 that’s still true today,” said Tropper. “A country built by immigrants, yet we struggle with our relationship with immigrants.”

AMC's 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond'

AMC's 'The Walking Dead: World Beyond' (Image credit: Zach Dilgard/AMC)

New AMC Series Goes Beyond ‘The Walking Dead’ 

The Walking Dead: World Beyond debuts Oct. 4 on AMC, following the first generation raised in the post-apocalyptic world. Two teen sisters, Hope and Iris, set out on “a grand adventure,” as co-creator Matt Negrete puts it, and run into a bit of trouble, including zombies the series refers to as “empties.” 

Viewers won’t find Walking Dead characters in
the spinoff. “This is a whole other thing,” co-creator Scott M. Gimple said. “You won’t see Rick Grimes walking around the corner, saying, ‘Hey kids,
what’s up?’ ”

Negrete said World Beyond has similar horror and suspense, but “a bit more hopeful tone.”

The show is shot in Richmond, Virginia. It was slated for an April premiere, but COVID jammed things up. Gimple hopes World Beyond will provide a bit of entertainment in these trying times. “The show offers people an escape,” he said. “An escape from their homes, from the monotony, from the pressure people are feeling.” λ

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.