“The Walking Dead” may have taken a ratings hit over the past few seasons but it’s still the most watched show on cable, which is why there are no plans to bring it to an end any time soon…
“The Walking Dead” may be one zombie you just can’t kill.
The long-running series is halfway through season 10 with season 11 already on the way in late 2020 but in the aftermath of creator Robert Kirkman bringing his comic book to an end, questions have started swirling about how much longer “The Walking Dead” can keep going.
Right now, “The Walking Dead” is in the middle of an infamous comic book arc pitting the survivors against the Whisperers — a group known for wearing masks made from human corpses, which allow them to walk amongst the dead — but there’s still plenty more story to mine moving forward.
According to “Walking Dead’ chief creative officer Scott M. Gimple, who oversees the entire “Walking Dead” universe for AMC, there are no plans in place right now to bring the flagship series to an end. While every show has to come to a conclusion at some point, Gimple doesn’t see that happening for “The Walking Dead” any time soon.
“We’re always in contact with AMC to ensure we’re on the same page about moving forward,” Gimple told EW. “There isn’t a timetable. We’re continuing on. People are digging the show, and there’s a lot more story to tell. I’ve said it, Angela’s said it too, that last issue of the comic reads like a pilot.
“There’s a ton more story to tell. As long as the audience wants it, we would love to tell it. So far, we’re very much on the same page.”
In terms of the source material, “The Walking Dead” has already gone off course numerous times because several prominent characters from the comics are no longer appearing on the show.
Andrew Lincoln, who played series stalwart Rick Grimes, left in the middle of season 9, although he will return in a series of “Walking Dead’ movies currently in the works at AMC. Chandler Riggs, who played Rick’s son Carl, was also killed off and he remained an important part of the comic book throughout the entire run. Danai Gurira will become the latest cast member to say goodbye as Michonne will be written off before season 10 comes to a close but there’s always a chance she could return for one of the upcoming movies.
In the comic book, Kirkman remained primarily focused on Rick and Carl right up to the end, which means “The Walking Dead” series will have to make some major changes whenever it comes time for the show to end.
That said, Gimple has entertained some ideas about how the show would end but that’s a highly fluid situation because right now they aren’t rushing towards a conclusion just yet.
“I’ve had visions and I think you always have to have a small variety of ways it could go because there are so many different things that can happen outside the narrative production-wise. Then there’s so much that happens within the narrative that catches fire or a story that is shorter or longer than you anticipated. I’ve always had a few different aspects in mind that serve a greater theme,” Gimple said.
“As far as the ending of the show though, whenever it might be, I would be talking about it with Angela [Kang] and really try to fulfill the whole of it. I think with Andy’s departure, we tried to sort of fulfill the whole of Rick’s story on the show, and we had planned that for a good while. It’ll be the same whenever, if ever, the show ends. Maybe we simply don’t have to deal with it because the show goes on and on and on.”
While ratings for “The Walking Dead” have gone down in recent seasons, the show still ranks as the most watched series on cable with one spinoff series — “Fear the Walking Dead” — already airing on AMC with a second spinoff — “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” — coming later this year. In other words, AMC is still doing plenty of business with “The Walking Dead” so don’t expect the main show to go anywhere but back to television for at least a few more seasons.