It’s widely known that Season 9 of AMC’s The Walking Dead will see the departure of the series’ lead in Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. One of the show’s other main leads is Lauren Cohan’s Maggie Greene. She too is exiting this season. But while it seems as though the foundation of AMC’s hit is crumbling, the network has no intentions of abandoning it. In fact, they’re saying that The Walking Dead Universe will be on AMC for at least another decade.
AMC’s CEO, Josh Sapan, fielded questions during the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference. The topic of the show’s declining ratings came up, which are nearly half what they once were at their peak, to which Sapan said this:
“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.”
This has pretty much been AMC’s standpoint for quite a while now. Back in 2014, executive producer David Alpert stated that the team had “a pretty good idea of what Season 10 is gonna be. We know where season 11 and 12 … we have benchmarks and milestones for those seasons if we’re lucky enough to get there.”
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Now, Alpert likely had no idea that he was going to lose the show’s main character in its 9th season. But regardless, it’s clear that those working on the series always had long-term aspirations.
But as Sapan said, it’s The Walking Dead Universe – not just the lone series. The network currently has 2 shows active, and a 3rd if you consider the talk show based upon them. Even if The Walking Dead’s cast continues to disassemble, there’s nothing stopping AMC from just bringing in new blood or just starting from scratch with a new series entirely.
Regardless, it’s clear that AMC is going to be rolling out properties within their The Walking Dead Universe for years to come – at least 10 as it sounds. That continues next with the main show’s Season 9 premiere on October 7th.