AMC’s The Walking Dead is the biggest thing that isn’t a football game to ever air on cable television, which means that–despite the fact that basically all of its characters who leave the show do so with a spike through their brainpan–a spin-off was all but inevitable. While the main show primarily sticks to a rough outline laid out in creator Robert Kirkman’s comic book series of the same name, we now know enough about the new show (including its terrible title) to see how much room they have to play.
The answer is “an awful lot” (and speaking of “awful,” it was announced late on Friday afternoon that the show will be called Fear the Walking Dead). The new series, whose title is straight up the same name as the show from which it’s spinning off but with an extra word in front of it, is set in Los Angeles, and is a prequel of sorts. Where The Walking Dead very quickly devolves into full-on zombie apocalypse mode, Fear the Walking Dead appears to show how all of that zombie apocalypsing went down. We get a radio announcer warning of “a strange virus going around,” and ordinary people and cars in L.A. enjoying a sunny day before things get brain-eaty.
Beyond that, the details–including precisely when the first six-episode season will air–are sparse. Kim Dickens, who’s been a delightful supporting cast member on previous genre shows like Lost and Deadwood, steps into a lead role as a high school guidance counselor who will presumably help a cast that includes Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, and Alycia Debnam Carey as they navigate decisions about what to do with themselves in a world full of ambling walkers and the broken, damaged people who spend many seasons making poor decisions because of them. Honestly, we can’t wait.