The character of Barbara is most likely a nod to the original Night of the Living Dead whose main character was named Barbara.

Black Summer was filmed in and around Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Some of the sets include the 1988 Winter Olympic Games facilities, Calgary Tower, and the Queen Elizabeth School. Other Alberta filming locations include the River Avenue Bridge over the Bow River in Cochrane and the rural towns of Irricana and Beiseker. In contrast, the show's sequel, Z Nation, was filmed in Spokane, Washington.

In the first episode Barbara meets a man called Ben. This is an obvious homage to George A Romero's Night of the living dead as two of the lead characters were called Barbara and Ben.

In the episode Alone (S01E04) when Lance is hiding in the book shop there's a white book visible behind him. The book is Stephen King's "Cell" telling a story of a zombie-like apocalypse with a stadium being part of the plot.