Sorta true re: hardcores, although the way Darabont and Kirkman are collaborating on the arc of the series, the hardcore fans of the comics are in for surprises, too. They'll be pulling a Dexter and starting off w/ a lot from the source material, but then re-shaping it and making it its own beast. Which is good. :) (I actually read far fewer comics than I'd like, mostly because I can't afford to buy them all! Many friends insisted to me that I read TWD because they spoke so highly of it, and they were absolutely right. One of the most intense series I've ever read.)
When I started properly fangirling Andy I actually went back and watched the first two series of Teachers for him (Which is not bad... sometimes incredibly funny, sometimes slapdash. First series bonus: He's naked. A LOT. ) Haven't seen This Life though I know it was hugely beloved in the UK. Strike Back is kinda... eh. Reminds me of Ultimate Force, all military bravado and little substance. (Hey, something else he and Jamie have in common! The budget on Strike Back is a hell of a lot better, though. XD) And that was from just last year so he's got the older, chiseled look which I prefer. UNF.
And now I'm going to go back to where you said "Apollo muscles" and keep praying for an excuse to get DS Devlin's shirt off in the next L&O:UK series. ;)
p.s. I have indeed read the TWD pilot script. Loved it. I'd expect no less from Frank. And Kirkman's going to pen an episode, too. Woot.