TV station hacked to report fake zombie apocalypse
GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A Montana television station’s regular programming was interrupted by news of a zombie apocalypse. The Montana Television Network says hackers broke into the Emergency Alert System of Great Falls affiliate KRTV and its CW station Monday. KRTV says on its website the hackers broadcast that “dead bodies are rising from their graves” in several Montana counties.
The network says there is no emergency and its engineers are investigating.
A call to KRTV was referred to a Montana Television Network executive in Bozeman. Jon Saunders didn’t immediately return a call for comment.
The Great Falls Tribune reports the zombie apocalypse hoax alert generated at least four calls to police to see if it was true.
Some speculate that the zombies hoax was actually a publicity stunt for AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” which features zombies in every episode. Prior to the series premiere, public relations teams hired street actors to dress as zombies and flash urban centers throughout the world. The antic was successful, making “The Walking Dead” one the most watched cable shows in history, with a demo higher than top broadcast shows “The Big Bang Theory” and “NCIS.”
Sunday night’s mid-season return of “The Walking Dead” delivered 12.3 million viewers and a 6.1 adults 18-49 rating — its biggest yet in both measurements. In comparison, last Thursday’s ”American Idol” pulled in 13.3 million viewers for the broadcast televisions series.
‘The Walking Dead” is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The series stars Andrew Lincoln as sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes, who awakens from a coma to find the world dominated by slow walking flesh-craving “walkers,” resembling the zombies of cult filmmaker George A. Romero’s zombie horror movies.