Georgia was already a place that enjoyed some tourism, but it’s gotten a nice boost in recent years. While many things factor into that, as commercial and government efforts to boost the local tourism industry have been quite serious in their work. However, there is one thing in particular that has really put the state on the map in the minds of many, and that is the “The Walking Dead” being filmed here. It’s actually spawned a local industry of tourism visiting various places and locations where the hit television series has filmed different scenes and episodes.
The show broadcasts on the cable network AMC, which some years back started moving away from being only movies and started doing its own original programming. The critical and ratings success of “Breaking Bad” certainly affirmed this creative decision, and the network decided to take a chance on turning a smash graphic novel into a television show, ordering a six-episode first season of “The Walking Dead” as an experiment to see if a zombie show could even make it in today’s competitive television environment. It certainly took root, turning into a ratings smash, a cultural phenomenon, and for a while the highest-rated show on television. The show even has its own talk show following the broadcast of new episodes.
Even though later seasons of the show are fictionally set in the Virginia and Maryland countryside around Washington, D.C., the show still continues to film in Georgia, and many fans know this from seeing the iconic Georgia peach in the closing credits. Many fans sit through the credits because they never know if there will be a bonus scene, or because “Talking Dead” is next. There’s also quite a bit of marathon- or binge-watching that takes place in this show.
Fans of the show visit not only to see the various filming locations, but sometimes to actually participate. Some episodes requiring massive zombie hordes are done with CGI, but many of the zombies, or ‘walkers’ as they are called here, are volunteers in makeup and costume, so there might be hundreds of people visiting just for a chance to be on the show for a split second.
A secondary and sometimes nuisance brand of “Walking Dead” tourism are fans trying to figure out upcoming shooting locations so they can see the stars of the show or even scenes filming. Once the show shoots in any location, they typically find the area swarmed with fans the next day as Internet word gets out. The producers have gotten adept at keeping things moving around.