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12 Best Shows Like Tales Of The Walking Dead That Fans Should Check Out

The "Walking Dead" universe has grown larger with the debut of "Tales of the Walking Dead," an anthology series set in Robert Kirkman and AMC's massively successful zombie apocalypse. The fourth series in the franchise, "Tales of the Walking Dead" takes a different approach to the fictional wasteland by telling a unique and independent story in every episode. With a bunch of new and returning characters filling out the show's many tales, it offers a refreshingly varied look at the "Walking Dead" world, though the core tone of the franchise remains intact.

If you're tuning into "Tales of the Walking Dead," you're probably already quite familiar with the three shows that preceded it. However, Kirkman and AMC aren't the only ones delivering high quality television with anthology formats and/or post-apocalyptic flair. Whether "Tales of the Walking Dead" strikes your fancy because of its episodic structure, gritty atmosphere, or hordes of zombies, there are lots of other shows worth watching that scratch the same itches. Here are 12 shows like "Tales of the Walking Dead" that you should check out next.

American Horror Stories

"Tales of the Walking Dead" and "American Horror Stories" are similar in two major ways: They're both episodic anthology spin-offs of massively popular network TV shows, and they're both designed to send shivers up your spine. Set in the same twisted universe as Ryan Murphy and FX's hugely successful "American Horror Story," "American Horror Stories" takes the seasonal tales of its predecessor and shrinks them down into one-off episodes. Each explores a different corner of the supernatural and surreal.

This show has everything: murderous mall Santas, nightclub serial killers, witches, ghosts, and man-eating humans. If you're at all familiar with the distinct brand of off-the-wall horror Murphy's become known for, you'll simultaneously know what to expect and have no idea what's coming next. Of course, some episodes will make a bit more sense if you've already seen the original show, but many of the series' brightest highlights work without any previous context.

"American Horror Stories" hasn't received the best critical reception, but that's more due to the inconsistency of its episodes than an overarching problem. As such, it's pretty easy to pick and choose tales based on what sounds interesting, which is one of the main appeals of the anthology format. It's certainly a different kind of horror than what's felt in "The Walking Dead," but that doesn't mean that fans of the zombie franchise won't enjoy Murphy's occult stylings.

The Sandman

One of the most recent entries on this list, Netflix's "The Sandman" isn't an anthology series, but it is a show that shines brightest in its most self-contained episodes. Based on the acclaimed comic series by Neil Gaiman and a wide variety of artists, the show follows Morpheus (Tom Sturridge), the anthropomorphic embodiment of dreams, as he journeys across various mystical realms to rebuild his kingdom after a long imprisonment.

Since the comics were originally positioned as a horror saga under DC Comics' Vertigo imprint, there are plenty of scares to go around in the Netflix adaptation. However, while the series frequently dips into surrealist horror, the smaller and more personal moments make up the best things about "The Sandman." We watch Death, Morpheus' older sister,  gently guiding an aged musician's soul out of the mortal realm. We join the reunion of two old friends who haven't seen each other for over a hundred years. We enjoy an oddly grounded conversation held between a magically-demented villain and his unintended hostage. These flashes of humanity (even among entirely inhuman beings) are stunning in their elegance, even stealing the spotlight from the show's majestic visual effects.

While its breed of horror, hybrid structure, and philosophical focus are all a bit different than what's featured on "Tales of the Walking Dead," "The Sandman" is still quite similar to the zombie anthology. If you enjoy mildly edgy stories that touch on human nature and death, "The Sandman" is a great option.

The Twilight Zone

Since Rod Serling's original black-and-white series concluded in the 1960s, "The Twilight Zone" has been revived and rebooted many times. Though none of these successive installments have quite reached the level of cultural impact or overall quality attained by the original, they've each contributed at least a handful of thought-provoking episodes. Any fan of horror and anthology series like "Tales of the Walking Dead" should check out the original show, but the 2019 reboot helmed and hosted by Jordan Peele is also worth a watch.

Peele's version of the classic sci-fi series takes plenty of cues from "Black Mirror," but it still remains its own thing. While the original "Twilight Zone" structure of thought-experiment plotlines and moralistic twists remains, the episodes are stretched out to an hour, giving them more time to develop their strange and surreal worlds. Moreover, this series boasts a star-studded cast including Morena Baccarin, DeWanda Wise, Steven Yeun, and Kumail Nanjiani. There's a ton of talent both in front of and behind the camera.

"The Twilight Zone" earned solid reviews through its two seasons, though some episodes certainly stand above the rest. If you're interested in exploring more genre anthology shows beyond "Tales of the Walking Dead," "The Twilight Zone" should definitely be on your list.

All of Us Are Dead

Maybe you don't like "Tales of the Walking Dead" because it's an anthology show. Maybe you like it simply because you like good stories about zombies. If that's the case, then you should make your way quickly to "All of Us Are Dead," one of the best zombie series of the modern era.

Set in a high school in South Korea, the show follows the events of a localized zombie outbreak, which forces students and teachers alike to take shelter and do whatever's necessary to survive the undead horde. Blending coming-of-age drama and outright horror proves to be a winning combination, as the show effortlessly produces dark comedy, social commentary, and tense action. "All of Us Are Dead" has received high praise for its creativity in an incredibly crowded genre, as well as for its handling of more serious and complex themes like classism and the grim effects of bullying.

"The Walking Dead" and its spin-offs provide a deeply developed and compelling zombie world, but they often return to the same core plotlines and thematic angles. If you're looking for an undead tale with a more inventive and fresh take on the genre, "All of Us Are Dead" fits the bill perfectly.

Black Summer

Even if you're a diehard zombie fan, you may have missed "Z Nation," a show that ran from 2014 to 2018 on Syfy. While the series certainly achieved some longevity, it never quite made its way into the hearts of the critics. It opts for a campily low-budget take on the undead apocalypse that derives most of its entertainment value from overall goofiness, rather than anything deeper. This makes sense when you consider that "Z Nation" was created by The Asylum, a production company best known for modern B-movies like the "Sharknado" franchise.

Despite this, "Z Nation" spawned a Netflix spinoff that's head and shoulders above The Asylum's usual fare. "Black Summer" carries a lot of the same DNA that makes "The Walking Dead" work so well, taking a dark, gritty, and action-packed look at the early days of the zombie apocalypse. The show begins less than two months after the initial undead outbreak, which allows it to parallel the original AMC series in a number of ways. If you miss when "The Walking Dead" was more about discovery, mystery, and exploring the apocalypse than human betrayal, you may find a lot to like in "Black Summer." It's a tense and fast-paced series with a strong lead performance from Jaime King, and it features many of the same zombie genre hallmarks that define "Tales of the Walking Dead."

Black Mirror

There may be no show more responsible for popularizing anthology TV in the modern era than "Black Mirror." Something of a contemporary take on "The Twilight Zone," this show tells a different feature-length tale each episode. Many center around science fiction concepts, like Season 4's award-winning "USS Callister" and Season 1's "The Entire History of You." However, the show also doesn't limit itself to any one genre, embracing all stories as long as they're sufficiently disturbing or surreal.

While there are no zombies in "Black Mirror," the series captures much of the core appeal of "Tales of the Walking Dead," in that it's all about watching vivid characters in abjectly horrifying situations navigate relationships, survival, and trust. More than a decade after its debut "Black Mirror" remains the high water mark for today's anthology television, and its stellar production values and star-studded ensembles make it required viewing for any fans of the genre. It's a series that will make you think just as much as it will give you nightmares, making it an ideal watch for those who enjoy "The Walking Dead."

Castle Rock

Though it only spans two seasons, "Castle Rock" is a stark and compelling work of TV horror. Based on the work of Stephen King, this anthology series takes place almost entirely in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine, the setting of many of the author's most famous stories. Shawshank State Penitentiary, Sheriff Alan Pangborn, and other characters and details from King's work are sprinkled throughout the show, creating a thick atmosphere of terror and mystique.

Though both seasons take place in Castle Rock, they follow almost entirely different character groups. The result is a series akin to "American Horror Story," with a lot of "Twin Peaks" flair mixed in. Hulu's budget, King's prestige, and an ensemble of talented stars — including André Holland, Bill Skarsgård, Sissy Spacek, Barkhad Abdi, and Tim Robbins — all elevate "Castle Rock" further. It's a must-watch for King fans, but also a compelling anthology series in its own right, delivering tons of small-town myths and mysteries that ensure the story never drags.

Of course, because this is Stephen King, there's also plenty of commentary on human nature, something fans of "Tales of the Walking Dead" will surely appreciate. Nothing reveals people's darker tendencies quite like ghosts, monsters, and family secrets, and "Castle Rock" crafts powerful drama out of these narrative building blocks.

Tales from the Loop

"Tales from the Loop" is something of a curious case as a show that came and went with little fanfare, despite earning high critical praise. In some ways, it's most comparable to "The Twilight Zone," as each episode centers around a different character experiencing some strange, life-changing event. And yet, it's not a proper anthology series. There's an overarching story connecting the show's eight episodes, with persistent character arcs and recurring plotlines popping up throughout. In this way, "Tales from the Loop" is more like a regular season of television, but with the narrative angle shifting dramatically in each episode.

That hybrid structure is largely a result of the show's setting: the small, unassuming town of Mercer, Ohio. The only real thing of note about Mercer is that it's home to an underground experimental physics facility known by locals as the Loop, which causes all manner of supernatural phenomena. Body-swapping, time travel, and other sci-fi concepts are employed throughout the series, with mostly personal repercussions. What results is a melancholic show that focuses squarely on regular people, rather than the larger implications of its science fictional ideas.

Based on the work of Swedish artist Simon Stålenhag, "Tales from the Loop" is an audiovisual odyssey through the mundane and the surreal. If you love the format and human element of "Tales of the Walking Dead" but want a change of pace from zombie mayhem, it's a series that's sure to satisfy.

True Detective

At first glance, "Tales of the Walking Dead" and "True Detective" might not seem like they have much in common. Sure, they're both anthology shows, but "True Detective" has season-long storylines. Additionally, they occupy very different genres, with the AMC series diving into the world of the undead and HBO's murder mystery show firmly grounded in the real landscape of violent crime. However, when you get past the surface and look at the deeper tonal and thematic content, you'll find that these shows are actually quite similar.

Both "True Detective" and "Tales of the Walking Dead" are primarily interested in what people do when faced with the most reprehensible things imaginable. Everybody has a breaking point, and these shows do everything they can to explore those moments of desperation and despair. Sound dark? Well "True Detective" is certainly that. But if you're okay with shows getting a bit grim and grisly, you owe it to yourself to give it a watch.

While Season 2 of "True Detective" is a bit lackluster, the rest of the show is top-tier television. Season 1 follows a pair of investigators played by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as they track down a brutal occult serial killer. Season 3 follows Mahershala Ali's Detective Wayne Hays on a disturbing case in the Ozarks. Both deliver powerful and unsettling anthology tales sure to entertain fans of the genre.

Love, Death & Robots

Anthology shows open up a broad range of narrative possibilities. What better way to assist in that effort than with the boundless potential of animation? Netflix's "Love, Death & Robots" might sound like a corny sci-fi romance saga, but it's far more than the name implies. This sprawling series covers all kinds of genres and tells all kinds of stories, from the hilarious and exciting to the sweet and horrific.

Every episode of "Love, Death & Robots" tells a self-contained story in less than half an hour. With a huge number of animation studios credited across the series, each tale delivers a totally new visual style. It's worth a watch just to see all the different aesthetics that manifest, but "Love, Death & Robots" also delivers compelling stories and excellent vocal performances. Produced in part by David Fincher and featuring the talents of Michael B. Jordan, Rosario Dawson, Chris Parnell, and Nolan North, among others, it's easy to see why the show has garnered stellar reviews and earned numerous awards and nominations.

As the name implies, science fiction is the genre connecting the series' episodes. But the sci-fi elements aren't always the focus. Like "The Walking Dead," "Love, Death & Robots" uses its genre grounding to tell personal, human stories. This makes it a perfect change of pace for anthology fans.

Into the Badlands

Out of all the TV series included on this list, "Into the Badlands" may be the oddest man out. It's not a zombie show, and it's not an anthology show. But it is a post-apocalyptic action-adventure series from AMC, which may make it ideal viewing for fans of the "Walking Dead" franchise.

Set in a distant future in which most of human society has crumbled, "Into the Badlands" is a master class in action and worldbuilding. The wastes of the future are ruled by violent and tyrannical warlords called Barons, who employ warriors called Clippers to fight their battles for land and resources. The show follows the best of these Clippers, Sunny (Daniel Wu), on a journey of self-discovery and eventual rebellion against the corrupt system that made him a killer. There's lots of supernatural mystery along the way, and even some bits of horror here and there. The result is a gritty fantasy world that feels a lot like that of "The Walking Dead," but with magical swordsmen instead of zombies.

The real draw here is the action, which is wire work martial arts at its finest. Nearly every episode delivers at least one tense battle, complete with all the absurd choreography and wall-running you'd expect of a Hong Kong action movie. Like "Tales of the Walking Dead," this is a gritty saga of survival and betrayal in a world devastated by violence — just with some added kung fu flair.

Channel Zero

Looking for more of a digital age flavor in your horror anthology series? Then "Channel Zero" might be right up your alley. Spanning four seasons, this series takes a "Twilight Zone" approach to the internet-based horror myths known as creepypastas.

With seasonal plotlines and an overall focus on the more disturbing corners of the genre, "Channel Zero" is probably most similar to "American Horror Story." However, the shorter length of its seasons and the show's unique sources of inspiration give it a distinctly different flavor. The cast includes notable stars like Paul Schneider, Fiona Shaw, and even genre legend Rutger Hauer, who all deliver top-notch work. Moreover, for a Syfy series, "Channel Zero" has an impressive level of production value and originality, earning it high praise throughout all four of its seasons. It falls squarely into the realm of full-on horror, separating it somewhat from "Tales of the Walking Dead," but that doesn't mean fans of one won't enjoy the other. There's enough creativity, mystery, and drama at play to make any viewer want to uncover the terrifying truth of "Channel Zero."