Yeah it's not the fact that NotLD "created" the mainstream view of zombies today that makes it the focal point of the change from classic to modern, it's more about how it was done. Even the "how" it was done by NotLD wasn't THAT original. I think a lot of its elements can be seen in Godzilla '54/56 for example. What I think caused the domino effect was how simple but effectively it was done in NotLD. Put some pancake mix on a few faces, put together a few simple but believable news broadcast to explain the plot and give the characters simple yet realistic challenges like boarding up windows and running for their lives. I think film makers used this as a jumping off point. The rules were changed. TCM only briefly used news outlets to pitch the plot. For the most part TCM takes for granted that you've seen movies like NotLD. They've built off movies like Psycho and The Boston Strangler, two movies that used the whole movie to develop that mindset. Once audiences "got it" we've been running off of those set rules since.