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The Walking Dead Renewed for a 9th Season with New Showrunner

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While still a powerhouse, “The Walking Dead” has hit a few road bumps lately with declining ratings and fan criticism of some storyline choices. Well, none of that has deterred network AMC’s devotion to the show, as evidenced by today’s announcement of its renewal for a ninth season.

Not only that, but it will have a new showrunner for its upcoming season: Angela Kang, who has been a writer/co-executive producer for the past several years. Score one for the ladies!

“The Walking Dead” Season 8 returns Sunday, February 25th, at 9/8c on AMC and will be available immediately after on-air broadcasts on iOS, Apple TV, Android, Windows, Fire Tablets, Roku, Xbox One, and amc.com.

From the Press Release:
AMC today made a number of announcements related to “The Walking Dead,” the highest-rated cable series in history and the #1 show on television for the last six seasons and counting. The series is being renewed for a ninth season, to premiere in late 2018; current showrunner Scott M. Gimple is being elevated to Chief Content Officer, overseeing the entire “Dead” television universe, including “The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” and potential brand extensions on a variety of platforms; and Angela Kang, who has been a writer on the show since 2011 and co-executive producer since 2013, is being promoted by Gimple to executive producer and showrunner of “The Walking Dead,” starting with Season 9.

“This is an enormously important day for the entire ‘The Walking Dead’ television universe. We are proud to acknowledge Angela’s significant contribution to the series and to set a clear path forward for a ninth season under her direction. Further, with gratitude and admiration, we also recognize Scott’s broad impact on, and leadership of, the content that fuels our ‘TWD’ universe. Together, we will dream bigger and more broadly than ever before,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV, and AMC Studios. “I know I speak for Angela, Scott, and everyone at AMC when I say thanks most of all to the fans and the many talented people who have helped AMC play ‘Dead.’”

“‘The Walking Dead’ is a special show which started in an entirely different era of TV and continues, in this new era, to confidently take chances to tell compelling stories that excite audiences and make them deeply connect with its characters, adapting Robert Kirkman’s brilliant comic book,” Gimple said. “As the show closes in on its tenth year, I’m honored to keep working with the talented, dedicated people behind and in front of the camera to make it all it can be, while expanding the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ with new narratives like ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ and a whole host of truly cool stories ahead. Angela is a big part of the heart and soul of ‘The Walking Dead,’ and I’m thrilled to help facilitate her vision of the show’s next era.”

“I am beyond thrilled to be stepping into this new role with ‘The Walking Dead.’ Working on this series and having the opportunity to adapt Robert Kirkman’s amazing comic has been a fangirl dream come true for me,” said Kang. “I’m excited to continue working with Scott and the wonderfully supportive folks at AMC and can’t wait to share the next chapter of the story with our fans next fall.”

Produced by AMC Studios, “The Walking Dead” remains the #1 show on television among adults 18-49. “Fear the Walking Dead” is the #1 cable premiere of all-time and is currently in production on its fourth season, to premiere early this year with a new creative team, several new cast members, and – for the first time – Lennie James (Morgan Jones) as a crossover character between the two series. “The Walking Dead” content is featured on AMC’s AMC Premiere commercial-free upgrade option and a recently launched virtual reality app, to name just a few. In partnership with Next Games, AMC has launched a successful mobile game “The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land” and a new location-based augmented reality game, “The Walking Dead: Our World,” set to launch globally early this year.

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Michael C. Hall Buried in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary

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Now here’s an audio book we can REALLY get behind! Entertainment Weekly is reporting that former “Dexter” star Michael C. Hall will be narrating the first ever unabridged recording of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. Sometime’s audio is better!

Readers have been asking for this audiobook for a very long time,” Stephen King said in a statement. “I know the listening experience will be worth the wait with Michael as narrator.

We’re thrilled to finally bring Pet Sematary to King’s audiobook fans,” Simon & Schuster Audio president and publisher Chris Lynch added. “Michael C. Hall is a perfect match for this timeless story, which has long deserved an unabridged production.

The unabridged audiobook of Pet Sematary will be released by Simon & Schuster Audio on March 27. Speaking of Hall… you know he would make a pretty friggin’ good casting choice to play Victor Pascow in the upcoming Pet Sematary remake. Just sayin’.

BUY IT NOW!

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Saw-inspired Game Play With Me Sets a Trap on Steam

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Saw fans have a lot to be happy about right now. In addition to Jigsaw being teased for Dead by Daylight, a new Saw-themed game called Play With Me has launched on Steam, and although it’s not officially connected with the franchise in any way, developer Airem promised that they created a videogame which looks and plays as though it were made by Jigsaw himself. As you can tell from the trailer and screenshots, the production values and overall quality of Play With Me appear to be considerably higher than most other indie horror games released on Steam, and you’ll probably be very happy to see that Airem took the time and effort to create stylized hand drawn environments rather than using purchased assets from the Unity Store.

The killer behind the sinister traps in Play With Me is known as the Illusion, with the player taking control of investigative journalist Robert Hawk as he tries to fight his way through a series of sick and twisted obstacles created by the lunatic. The voice acting in the trailer was a little cheesy, although we see at 1:09 that the player will be tasked with using a kitchen knife to cut open a dead body (presumably to retrieve an item hidden in the cadaver’s stomach), which is not an image you’ll be forgetting anytime soon.

IQ Publishing are offering a 15% discount off Play With Me for those who purchase the game before January 24, so Saw fans might want to mark that deadline in their calendars and purchase it from Steam before the time is up. After all, it can’t be worse than Konami’s awful official Saw videogames.

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New God of War Story Trailer Calls to You

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This morning, Sony unleashed a new trailer for God of War 4, the upcoming continuation of the story of Kratos. Full of rich, vibrant, and epic imagery, the trailer expands on the dynamics we’ll be seeing at play in this game, mainly the struggle of Kratos being a father and choosing how, and when, to reveal his Godliness to his son, Atreus. All of this takes place as they embark on a journey to fulfill the last wishes of Kratos’ late wife, who wished for her ashes to be spread in a distant location.

Directed by Cory Barlog, God of War 4 will be the first entry in the franchise to not feature Terrence C. Carson as the voice of Kratos. Rather, that responsibility has now fallen upon Christopher Judge (Dead Space: Aftermath, Reaper), who also provided the motion capture for the character.

A Playstation 4 exclusive, God of War 4 will be coming to the console on April 20 this year.

Synopsis:
Living as a man outside the shadow of the gods, Kratos must adapt to unfamiliar lands, unexpected threats, and a second chance at being a father. Together with his son Atreus, the pair will venture into the brutal Norse wilds and fight to fulfill a deeply personal quest.

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