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A Look At The Walking Dead Coming To an End

September 12, 2020 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
The Walking Dead - Stalker

Back in 2018 AMC’s CEO Josh Sapan spoke about the network’s plans for The Walking Dead, addressing the shows future on the network.

Sapan had answered a number of questions and was asked about the drop in the ratings for successful program, which had been halved since the show’s peak numbers from years back. He remarked, “Walking Dead is a universe…and we have a plan to manage over the next decade, plus. That plan is a careful plan to respect the world of the fans of that world.”

While many, myself included, thought this meant the main show would be going on indefinitely, it turns out to not be the case. This past Wednesday showrunners Scott Gimple and Angela Kang confirmed that the series will come to an end with a 24-episode 11th season. Over the years it sounded like The Walking Dead would run for 12 seasons at least but now it looks to like they’ll be milking the spin-offs instead. 

It’s no secret that fan enthusiasm has slowly been fading, even as the show produced solid numbers. With the loss of so many beloved characters, the series attempted to recreate the comic book series’ “anyone can die” vibe but that didn’t translate as many fan favorites left before worthy replacements could be warmed up to. This past year’s ratings finally fell below 3 million viewers.

While the main show is ending, AMC has plenty more Walking Dead for fans with a reported Rick Grimes movie trilogy, spin-offs including Fear the Walking Dead (now in its sixth season), and upcoming series The Walking Dead: World Beyond and anthology series Tales of The Walking Dead.

But wait…there’s more! A new spin-off has been announced as Gimple and Kang shared that a new show is coming in 2023, starring fan favorites Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier.

The rating slide of the main show is a no-brainer. While the comic book could lose a main character here and there, TV is a different breed and certain characters didn’t translate as well. Like Negan. TV audiences like to find a character they love and follow that person. You shake that up too much and you risk losing them. Especially when the replacement just doesn’t live up to the person they’re coming in to replace. 

Also, the shows formula has become too predictable, which has carried over to Fear. The new spin-offs really need to look to advancing the story in new and inventive ways or else these will be short bursts of interests before viewers leave entirely. 

Do you still watch The Walking Dead? If not, what season, or episode, did you stop?

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The Walking Dead, Steve Gustafson