iZombie is a new series coming to the CW from the minds behind the fan favorite Veronica Mars. While the new zombie show isn’t Veronica Mars, it’s about as close as fans probably will get on the small screen.

Liv (Rose McIver) gets turned into a zombie during a massacre on a boat in the series premiere. She needs to eat brains to survive and uses the memories of the deceased to solve crimes. 

BuddyTV caught up with Executive Producer Diane Ruggiero-Wright to get the scoop about the origin of the show, the similarities to Veronica Mars, the differences from the comic books, and Liv’s secret.

How did iZombie come about?

I work with Rob [Thomas] a lot. … He knows I’m a big zombie fan, a big comic book fan and a sci-fi nerd all around and so he called me and said that [Warner Bros. TV] has this project that they’re interested in and I said, “Sold!” and I said, “What’s it about?” So, he called me and we talked it through and read the comics and came up with our take on it. That’s how it happened.

How close in tone will it be to Veronica Mars?

Very close. Very close.  That’s our tone– is like comedy, little sarcastic with a hint drama, emotion and romance and all that. We’re calling it a zomedy or something cheesy like that. So it will be very close in tone. I think people who are Veronica Mars fans will like it, I would hope. If they don’t, we have done something really wrong. 

What are the differences between the comic and the show?

There are a lot. I’m a fan of the comic. It’s just that you can’t really translate it to television. The main– the most important ingredient was the inspiration for the show which is this woman early in her life, like a quarter-life crisis, of being turned into a zombie and how she deals with this new life or death. Also the onus that comes from that also having this component where you have to eat brains and get these memories or flashes from the people whose brains you ate and how you contend with that. That was the big interesting thing for us.

As far as the comic goes, I loved the comic and there are things that sneak in that aren’t really story points or thing that we purposefully use that then we find that we used. This is a crappy example, but the whole zombie disaster takes place on a boat on a lake. And in the second book of the comic, there’s a flashback to when she’s on a boat and they’re talking about this massacre with this octopus creature. It’s not like we read that and were like, ” Okay, so we’ll have our thing on a lake and there will be a massacre.” It just becomes the ether and you find yourself being inspired by it in different ways. That’s been cool for me. 

Will there be an ongoing story arc in addition to the episodic crimes?

Yes. Basically, every episode will be a standard procedural crime, but there will also be this zombie related b-story that will develop over the season and the series. It will have that procedural element similar to like Veronica Mars to like how she would always have two cases that first season. She had the case-of-the-week and then the Lily Kane mystery.  The zombies will be the “Lily Kane mystery.”

Will Liv be keeping what happened to her a secret from those in her life?

Yeah, it’s a secret from everyone except for Ravi, her boss. That’s a big thing. You have to keep that a secret as I know from personal experience … scratch that. Yeah, that’s a big part of it. How do you maintain a friendship or a relationship when this enormous thing that you’re dead and have to eat brains is all you think about and you have to be like, “Nice blouse. Let’s go to the mall.” I find that pretty interesting.

iZombie airs Tuesdays at 9pm ET on the CW.

(Image courtesy of the CW.)

Carla Day

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Contributing Editor and Writer for Collider, BuddyTV, TV Fanatic, CliqueClack, and other publications. TV criticism, reviews, interviews with actors and producers, and other related content. Founder of TV Diehard.