Most Read: Entertainment

TV Column
Posted at 06:46 PM ET, 10/17/2011

‘Sons of Anarchy’ vs. ‘Walking Dead’: Bikers and zombies battle for headlines


Ron Perlman in “Sons of Anarchy” (Prashant Gupta - FX)


A zombie from the second season of “The Walking Dead.” (Gene Page - AP)
The gates of Hades flew open Monday when FX’s bikers and AMC’s zombies began to battle for control of — headlines.

It all started when FX announced it had ordered a 13-episode fifth season of “Sons of Anarchy” because the biker drama was having its best season ever, starting with a fourth-season debut that had attracted 6.5 million people back in September — the most watched telecast in FX history, the basic cable network bragged.

Less than one hour later, AMC and its horde of zombies announced the second-season debut of “The Walking Dead” on Sunday had attracted more than 7 million followers, ripping the guts out of the motorcycle gang’s juicy talking point.

Things were not looking good for Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal and the rest of the “SOA” family.But, say what you like about the bikers of “SOA” — they don’t go down without a fight.

On a first-run basis, season four of “SOA” is averaging just under 4 million 18-49 year olds — the audience advertisers lust after. That makes it the No. 1 ranked scripted series on basic cable, FX boasted.

Faster than you can say “scary sci-fi people watch pots of TV,” zombie-harboring AMC noted the second-season debut of “Walking Dead” had bagged 5 million 18-49-year-olds — more than any other basic cable drama in TV history — gnawing second talking point to the bone.

With undead snapping at his ankles, FX chief John Landgraf bravely began to brandish Shakespearan references, comparing “Sons of Anarchy to “Hamlet,” claiming Kurt Sutter’s profanity-laced drama brings “ the themes of a great, ancient play like ‘Hamlet’ into a wholly original television setting and to tell this complex story in a way that is both riveting and accessible to a broad audience.”

AMC president Charlie Collier, unlike some in Hollywood, isn’t scared off by Shakespearean references; he spit on his hands and came right back with — schtick:

“That ‘The Walking Dead’ is now the most watched drama in the history of basic cable, against key demographics, is staggering — just like our zombies,” Collier shot back.

By  |  06:46 PM ET, 10/17/2011

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company