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What’s Next for The Walking Dead?

April 15, 2019 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
The Walking Dead - Scars

It’s no secret that AMC is fully invested in The Walking Dead. Last year AMC’s CEO Josh Sapan spoke about the network’s plans for the super successful show and put any doubt to rest.

Sapan answered questions about the drop in the ratings for The Walking Dead, which had been halved since the show’s peak numbers years ago. He remarked, “The 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.”

Let’s talk about those ratings real quick.

It’s become common to see headlines declaring the zombie show all but dead. Yes, the ratings have shrunk but, as more and more are pointing out, so has audiences across the board. When it’s being reported that only 5.02 million watched the last finale, that’s only reporting on live viewers. No DVR, no Sling, no YouTube, or any other means of watching the show are reported in that.

If you waited a week after the initial ratings came in you would have learned that the count for the season finale was seen by 7.4 million people. The second most watched show on cable that week? Discovery Channel’s Curse of Oak Island, with 4.6 million.

While lower ratings make for good headlines, The Walking Dead is stumbling along just fine.

AMC President Sarah Barnett told Vulture in an interview:

“Our decline has really mirrored the declines across basic cable. We just had higher to fall from. The fact that we are still the number one show by a margin of two to one is quite something. One of the things that I take such encouragement from is the fact that our ratings are pretty stabilized. We did see declines at the beginning of [season nine], but through all of the back half of this season, we are seeing the kind of stability that we’ve never really seen in this property before.”

Along those lines is The Walking Dead spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead, which is struggling to re-find it’s footing but is doing well enough to hang on.

And let’s not forget AMC announced a series of movies that will star Andrew Lincoln, who left the show last November. To add to that, Scott M. Gimple and Matt Negrete will serve as showrunners on another spin-off that will feature two young female protagonists and “focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it,” according to a release. “Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever,” the network says.

“We’re thrilled that the Dead will keep walking into a new corner of the post-apocalyptic world, a corner that will present stories and characters unlike any that The Walking Dead has dramatized thus far, and that is bound to excite one of the most passionate fanbases in television,” said David Madden, president of programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios.

This last season of The Walking Dead was a breath of fresh air to the franchise, giving the show new focus, creepy villains, and much needed direction for some of the main characters. I expect that to carryover into the new season and also watching how they tie-in Fear the Walking Dead with the original and maybe into the upcoming movies.

I’m hoping they somehow get Lincoln into a spaceship to visit the International Space Station to do a Walking Dead in Space.

Or maybe not.

What do you think about the latest season of The Walking Dead and its future?

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The Walking Dead, Steve Gustafson