The Walking Dead will shuffle back onto AMC later this year to finish out its initial pandemic-postponed tenth season before returning for six more recently ordered Season 10 episodes early next year, if all goes according to plan. In the meantime, you can satiate your hunger for horror and survival drama with the great TV shows like The Walking Dead on this list.
The list includes other zombie shows, other post-apocalyptic shows, other horror shows with a strong dramatic bent, and other shows made by people who also make The Walking Dead. They'll all have you imagining what you would do in an apocalyptic situation. (Note: Spin-off Fear the Walking Dead is not included, because that feels too much like a cheat to include/is more "actually The Walking Dead" than "like The Walking Dead.")
Watch it on: Netflix
The CW's post-apocalyptic survival series is sci-fi, but it's one of TV's closest shows to The Walking Dead in terms of vibe. It matches The Walking Dead in bleakness of mood, moral ambiguity of its heroes, and sprawling ensemble cast of beloved characters who could die at any moment. It begins 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse, and the only human survivors live on an orbiting space station called the Ark. When overpopulation on the Ark becomes a problem, however, 100 juvenile delinquents are sent to Earth to test whether the radiation-poisoned atmosphere is now habitable. The kids soon find that they aren't the only human survivors after all, and they'll have to fight for survival in a strange new world. Its cult is smaller than The Walking Dead's, but no less devoted, and Alycia Debnam-Carey is arguably still more known for her recurring role as Lexa on Seasons 2 and 3 of The 100 than her main role on Fear the Walking Dead.
Watch them on: Netflix
Two zombie shows for the price of one! Z Nation, which ran on Syfy from 2014 to 2018, was a direct response to the seriousness of The Walking Dead, and took a similar zombie apocalypse premise and added a heavy dose of humor. It follows a group of survivors three years into the apocalypse as they transport a guy named Murphy (Keith Allan), who was injected with an experimental vaccine and is the only known survivor of a zombie bite, from New York to the last remaining CDC research lab in California. But Murphy is a dick, which makes him a very unpleasant travel companion, plus he's harboring a secret about his condition. It's a very fun, campy counterpart to The Walking Dead that has a much lower budget but still manages to get off some entertaining action sequences and has some characters you'll grow to care about. You'll see the zombaby in the pilot and be like "Oh, I get what this show is about." Alternatively/in addition to, you can watch the prequel series Black Summer, which was made directly for Netflix and serves as Z Nation's answer to Fear the Walking Dead, showing the start of the zombie apocalypse. However, it's very different than both Z Nation and The Walking Dead, and has a straight-ahead action horror style that owes more to first-person shooter video games than just about any other TV show. It's a relentless run-and-gun show that's all action and basically nothing else. You don't have to have watched Z Nation first, because they don't share any characters or feel similar, they just take place on the same timeline. They're both a lot of fun, but in different ways.
Watch it on: Netflix
This exciting Korean series takes the premise of zombie horror and creatively mashes it up with a period piece, with a zombie plague that's ravaging Korea in the early 1600s. It follows a prince who uncovers a plot to overthrow his ailing father, who is sick with an illness that's spreading across the region. He investigates further and finds that after the plague kills its host, it resurrects them as a zombie. So then he and his allies must fight to stop the virus while also fighting to save his dynasty. Kingdom blends historical details and political intrigue with gory horror kills, and is easily the best zombie show to come out since The Walking Dead began.
Watch it on: Cinemax
Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comic on which The Walking Dead is based, created this underrated horror series, which ran for two seasons on Cinemax and is also based on one of his comics. It tells the story of Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), a man in rural West Virginia who is an outcast in his town because misfortune follows him, as people around him have a tendency to get possessed by demons. As a result, he's become something of an expert on dealing with demonic possession, and he helps his friend Rev. John Anderson (Philip Glenister) exorcise people in their community. But Kyle's past haunts him, and his methods of exorcism are controversial. The show is very scary and has a strong supporting cast featuring Wrenn Schmidt, Kate Lyn Sheil, Brent Spiner, and the late Reg E. Cathey. It also has a darkness and Southern setting that will feel familiar to fans of The Walking Dead. If it had been on Netflix instead of Cinemax, it would have been a hit. Hopefully WarnerMedia eventually puts it and other Cinemax shows on HBO Max.
Watch it on: Shudder
If your favorite part of The Walking Dead is special effects makeup maestro Greg Nicotero's creepy creations, this anthology series on the horror-focused streaming service Shudder is all about them. Nicotero, an executive producer and director on The Walking Dead, is the showrunner for Creepshow, a streaming TV reboot of the cult classic anthology from the '80s that was written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero, the guy who invented the modern zombie with Night of the Living Dead. This Creepshow packs 12 skin-crawling shorts into 6 episodes, all of which contain something that will make you say "That's gross. I love it." It's lighter in tone than The Walking Dead, but no less gruesome.
Watch it on: Netflix
There are no zombies on auteur creator Mike Flanagan's horror hit, but like on The Walking Dead, the scariest monsters are human. The first season of the anthology series (Season 2 is expected sometime this fall) loosely adapted Shirley Jackson's classic novel and expanded it into a drama about the Crains, a family reeling from the losses of mother Olivia (Carla Gugino) and youngest daughter Nell (Victoria Pedretti), 26 years apart but both due to the horrors they suffered while living in Hill House. The siblings and their father reconvene after an estrangement, and old wounds get reopened and new and old terrors visit them. Like The Walking Dead, it's a horror series on the surface that's not so secretly a family drama, and its power comes from the dynamics between the characters and the way it makes us care about them before ripping our hearts out. Fear the Walking Dead's first three seasons are actually even more like Hill House than The Walking Dead, as the spin-off began as a family drama with zombies before shifting into a different mode from Season 4 on.
Watch it on: Netflix
It's totally fine if your favorite part of The Walking Dead is watching people get brutally killed in stomach-turning ways. That's an important part of the show! And Into the Badlands has even more blood per episode than The Walking Dead. This martial arts action series aired on AMC from 2015 to 2019, and it never quite caught on the way that it should have — though now that the complete series is on Netflix, people may find it and appreciate its dazzling fight choreography, vibrant color scheme, and clever post-apocalyptic world-building. Set hundreds of years in the future after America has collapsed and what remains is ruled by feudal barons, it tells the story of Sunny (Daniel Wu), a warrior in the employ of the Badlands' most powerful baron who leaves the life he knows behind when he meets a boy from another place who may hold secrets of his own mysterious past. Together, they go on a perilous journey to find the truth. Into the Badlands has magic, mystery, and stylized martial arts violence that gorehounds will drink up. It's tonally quite different than The Walking Dead, but there's a reason AMC picked it up when The Walking Dead was at its peak of popularity. Both shows take rule-bound genres and shake them up.
Watch it on: Netflix
You'll need your subtitles for this one, but trust us, it's worth it. The Rain is a Danish series set in a world besieged by a virus that is carried by rainfall. While most humans have been wiped out in Scandinavia, where the series is set, two siblings survived the epidemic by sheltering in a bunker for six years. They emerge to search for their father and end up joining forces with another group of survivors in the hopes of finding a quarantine zone. The third and final season hits Netflix Aug. 6, and the first two seasons are only 14 episodes combined, so if you binge hard you'll be ready in time for the final season. –Lindsay MacDonald
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9/8c on AMC. Previous seasons are available to stream on Netflix.