Somebody needs to keep an eye on Chris Hardwick because he’s slowly — actually not very slowly at all — taking over TV. After six seasons of “Talking Dead” — his aftershow for “The Walking Dead” — AMC has announced they’re expanding the series to run year-round.
“Talking with Chris Hardwick” will run in “Talking Dead’s” time slot when “The Walking Dead” and “Fear the Walking Dead” are on break. It’ll give the series the chance to expand beyond zombies — which on the surface, might seem like a strange idea for AMC. If you think about it though, the move makes total sense.
Hardwick is a natural-born host, and puts those talents on display regularly with his Comedy Central series “@midnight” and NBC game show “The Wall.” What he doesn’t get to do as much on those shows — and often on “Talking Dead” — is have an actual conversation. As it turns out, that’s something he’s fantastic at.
Anyone who’s listened to Hardwick’s “Nerdist” podcast, which is closing in on 900 episodes, knows the host is a conversational master with a wide variety of guests, going far beyond the skin-deep level of discourse on display in most TV talk shows. Based on what AMC is revealing about “Talking,” this may very well be the perfect place to showcase those skills.
“Each 60-minute episode will feature an in-depth conversation between Hardwick and a single guest or cast,” a press release reads. “While ‘Talking Dead’ focuses exclusively on ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ episodes of ‘Talking with Chris Hardwick’ will feature a wide breadth of guests and highlight Hardwick’s singularly irreverent and authentic take on today’s pop culture landscape.”
If the show sticks to some version of the podcast format, allowing Hardwick to actually have the sort of wide-ranging discussions he excels at, this could be a perfect situation for AMC. It would give them a year-round series to showcase and deepen their relationship with Hardwick, as well as — depending on how interactive it is — their audience.
“‘Talking’ will have the skin of ‘Talking Dead,’ the soul of the Nerdist podcast, and the guts of a Comic Con panel,” Hardwick says. If this is actually how the show turns out, we could be seeing the beginning of something very special.
So while it might be fun to point out how absurd it is that Hardwick is going to be hosting an aftershow that doesn’t actually come after anything, it’s important to realize how much fun this could actually be.
Besides, there’s nothing wrong with a little more Chris Hardwick on TV. Though at a certain point you have to wonder how he finds the time to do it all. You’re making the rest of us look bad, Chris!
“Talking with Chris Hardwick” will premiere Sunday, April 9, at 11 p.m. ET/PT on AMC — one week after the season finale of “The Walking Dead.”