ROCKFORD — The locally produced zombie sitcom “The Deadersons” has lurched its way onto local television.
Earlier this month, producers of the black-and-white “zom-com” struck a deal with regional Comcast executives to broadcast the first— and so far only — completed season of the show on two channels.
“The Deadersons” airs at 5 p.m. on Thursdays and 10:30 a.m. Saturdays on channel 17, and at 5 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays on channel 57. It’s part of a lineup that includes other local content and a live stream of Rockford City Council meetings.
The shoestring-budget show regularly films throughout Winnebago and Stephenson counties and uses local resources. The first season has been available at Family Video on Charles Street and on various websites, but this marks the first time “The Deadersons” is being broadcast on local television.
Wyatt Elliott, who is the producer, editor and showrunner, connected with Comcast through a friend who does local-access television.
Bringing “The Deadersons” to Rockford airwaves is a “relief,” he said.
“We were really embraced as ‘Rockford’s sitcom,’ but we weren’t in Rockford,” Elliott said. “It was just about finding the right people. It feels great, really great.”
The sitcom debuted here on June 3, the two-year anniversary of the first episode of “The Deadersons” uploading to YouTube, where the series is still available.
Joan Sage, manager for government and community affairs at Comcast, said the company is “excited to broadcast ‘The Deadersons.’”
“It offers our customers an opportunity to experience something quite unique on their local TV channels,” she said. “The best part is that it showcases local talent. Every aspect is local, from the writing to the acting to the production.”
In fall 2016, “The Deadersons” production crew entered into an agreement with Amazon Prime to stream episodes on its website. Also that year, the show began airing as part of “Deadgar’s Dark Coffin Classics,” which pairs horror classics with comedy sketches on stations in Milwaukee and Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The show is produced by Notebook Entertainment, a local company founded by Elliott. Cameras began rolling on season two of “The Deadersons” almost two years ago, but production was put on hold to allow the cast and crew time to promote DVDs of the first season.
Elliott said he hopes “The Deadersons” paves the way for more local production.
“Notebook Entertainment is trying really, really hard to be part of the community,” Elliott said. “Our long-term plans are not to up and leave for California. We want to stay here and produce local content.”