The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan has made headlines in recent months due to her potential departure from the zombie apocalypse drama. A key player in the series who has managed to outlive the rest of her family since way back in Season 2, Maggie is an essential part of the action, and news that issues with Cohan's contract could keep her from returning in the long run was troubling to fans. The good news is that Cohan reached an agreement with the show and will return for part of Season 9, and she recently spoke out about what really happened:
In a time of parity in the industry and in my show, it wasn't actually that I was asking for [more money]. It's that my contract finished. So that's a pretty standard renegotiation. It's also sort of time for me to explore comedy and happier fare, so the good news which is good for me and I hope good news for fans is that my Walking Dead story is open. It's not finished.
Early reports of Lauren Cohan's potential departure from The Walking Dead alleged that she was looking for pay parity with series stars Norman Reedus and Andrew Lincoln before she would agree to sign on for more seasons. Given that Reedus and Lincoln are undoubtedly the biggest names attached to the show, fans had reason for concern that she wouldn't get the parity that would keep her on board. Cohan's comments to Andy Cohen's Radio Andy reveal that Cohan wasn't refusing to do her job unless she was given pay parity. Her contract simply expired after the end of Season 8, and she was free to either sign on for more or move on to other projects.
In this case, Lauren Cohan just went ahead and did both. Despite reports that The Walking Dead was looking to sign her for more seasons, Cohan only agreed to six episodes in the first half of Season 9 and signed on for a starring role on ABC's new dramedy Whiskey Cavalier, which should allow Cohan to continue as Maggie and explore happier TV. It won't take much for any project to be happier than the doom and gloom of The Walking Dead, and it's good to know that signing on for one doesn't necessarily mean leaving the other. Maggie doesn't have to die for Whiskey Cavalier to live with her as leading lady!
All things considered, it's probably the best for The Walking Dead that Maggie doesn't have to die in Season 9. We're pretty much all assuming that Rick is going to die (and have come up with some fun theories about how it could happen) when Andrew Lincoln leaves in the first half of the new season, and The Walking Dead losing two longtime regulars in one span of episodes might be too much for viewers, especially following the death of Carl back in Season 8.
At least we know Norman Reedus will be sticking around as Daryl, although we can be pretty confident that nobody will be getting pay parity with him on The Walking Dead. Considering how long he wants to stick around the zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead will almost certainly be quite lucrative for him. We can only hope that whatever Lauren Cohan landed in her new contract will be enough for Maggie to at least stay among the living.