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The Walking Dead is one of the biggest and most game-changing shows in the history of television, making and breaking records while revolutionizing how cinematic basic cable TV can really become. Also, super creepy zombies. AMC nowadays is arguably better known for its zombies than for anything else, so it makes sense that the network isn't looking to let go of the Walking Dead franchise any time soon. In fact, AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan recently revealed that he sees a very long future of the zombie apocalypse.
Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference (via THR), Josh Sapan said this about the future of The Walking Dead:
The world of The Walking Dead may be filled with death, but the AMC Networks CEO sees a lot of life left in the franchise. This despite an alarming dip in ratings throughout the ninth season, which also happened to see the departure of star Andrew Lincoln and longtime series regular Lauren Cohan. Season 10, which premieres in October, will cost the show yet another major character. So, is it silly to think decades into the future of television -- assuming a real-life zombie apocalypse hasn't happened by then -- could still involve The Walking Dead?
Maybe not. The Walking Dead will likely never be the ratings juggernaut that it once was, and it might not get back the bite that made it so popular in the first place, but AMC didn't back off the franchise because of the dip in ratings. In fact, the franchise is getting even bigger.
A third series in the franchise will join The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, and this one will be very different. If Carl and Enid weren't dead, they would have fit right in on it! There's also the fact that when The Walking Dead lost Andrew Lincoln as star of the show, it wasn't because Lincoln wanted out of the zombie apocalypse for good.
Although news of Andrew Lincoln's departure was spoiled months ahead of time, AMC successfully kept a lid on the fact that Rick being written out of the action was for the purpose of launching a Walking Dead movie centered on the character. The movie will get a theatrical release, and it was a hot enough property back in the development stages that multiple studios reportedly tried to land it.
The end of the Walking Dead comic series that launched the TV show doesn't mean the end of what AMC has to offer on the zombie apocalypse front, as both AMC and comic scribe Robert Kirkman made very clear when the surprising final issue released earlier this year. If the show can keep itself fresh even as the bodies rot, maybe The Walking Dead really could be around for decades to come.
Television is entering a new era with a whole bunch of streaming services launching, and the end of Game of Thrones could mark a shift in what viewers are looking for. You can catch Season 10 of The Walking Dead when it kicks off Sunday, October 6 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.