During the first half of its eighth season, The Walking Dead piled up enough bodies (both humans and walkers) to eclipse the sun, with many of those deaths befalling the nameless Saviors and Kingdom-ites populating background shots. But now we're set for a midseason premiere in which the seemingly unkillable Carl Grimes will be killed off, and fans are worried about a similar fate for Maggie. Lauren Cohan's contract expires this season, and she has yet to sign on for more. Current showrunner Scott Gimple seems optimistic, though, offering this latest update on the situation.
I'm incredibly hopeful about [a new deal]. These things do happen in TV. But we're talking. . . . And Lauren is an actor who has such intuition and such power. So hopefully, it all works out.
Note that Scott Gimple's optimism does not come across as overwhelming when seen in print like that. It's possible his audible tone was much happier and joyful when he spoke with TVLine about the matter, and that he had birthday party noisemakers going at the time, but probably not. Having headed up The Walking Dead behind the scenes for this many years, Gimple is used to both the troublesome process of contract negotiations, as well as unyielding fan stress over characters potentially exiting the show. So he knows it's best just to play it down the middle until something can be confirmed.
We'll gladly take Gimple at his word here, too, since we're anxious for AMC and the show's producers to work with Lauren Cohan on locking down a Season 9 contract extension that keeps her beloved character at the newly vengeful head of the Hilltop Colony. After all, Maggie is nearly as O.G. as Rick, Daryl, Morgan and Carol are at this point, and she deserves a nice moment of peace and quiet after the hell that she's been through since finding out she's pregnant. Scratch that; she has earned far more than one peaceful moment.
While Lauren Cohan's contract bartering doesn't have any specific ties to the Maggie character, some awkward and unfortunate circumstances would need to be written in if Cohan doesn't return. Such as the aforementioned pregnancy, which has been an ongoing plot point for multiple seasons now, with Maggie still only in the first trimester, given how stretched-out the narrative timeline has been. Considering Lori died in childbirth, the show likely wouldn't go that route again, so Cohan's exit could very well mean Maggie and Glenn's baby not coming to term. Which would be extremely depressing, if not exactly out of the ordinary for this show.
No one should have any particular worries about watching Lauren Cohan exiting The Walking Dead just yet, as she'll be back on AMC for the midseason premiere on Sunday, February 25, at 9:00 p.m. ET. (Check out what we thought about it.) And to see when all the non-zombie shows are hitting the small screen soon, head to our midseason premiere schedule.