Fear the Walking Dead has been renewed for a fourth season, before its third season even begins airing. Despite the online chatter about The Walking Dead suffering ratings drops during season 7 – which did indeed happen, to be fair – when all was said and done, The Walking Dead remains atop the Nielsen charts when it comes to scripted series, and still has a ways more to fall before it seriously risks losing that perch. Attempting to live up to the most popular show on TV is no easy task, but that’s exactly what AMC tasked spin-off series Fear the Walking Dead with, prior to its summer 2015 premiere.
While it’s predictably failed – at least so far – to hit the heights of popularity enjoyed by the flagship Walking Dead series, Fear the Walking Dead has managed to earn a sizeable fanbase in its own right, and also drawn similar levels of critical acclaim to its progenitor. With its short 6-episode debut season out of the way, Fear returned last year for an extended 15-episode season 2, running from April to October, with a break in the middle. This essentially ensured that AMC has new episodes of one of its zombie apocalypse series running on a nearly year-round basis.
Considering the critical and commercial success Fear the Walking Dead has enjoyed so far, it’s no surprise that AMC today opted to grant the series an early renewal, ordering season 4 over a month ahead of season 3’s June premiere. The network has yet to specify the exact episode count for Fear season 4, but 15-16 episodes seems like a good bet, as does a premiere within the first half of 2018.
That said, with Fear the Walking Dead season 4 also comes a shake-up on the creative side, with former Once Upon a Time producers Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg coming aboard as the new showrunners. They take over the job from Dave Erickson, who has served as showrunner since the series debuted. His coming departure after Fear season 3 was made official a few weeks back.
Also coming aboard the Fear creative team is The Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple, who will now be an executive producer on the spin-off. Gimple is himself no stranger to being involved in showrunner turnover, having taken over his current gig from Glen Mazzara, who was himself replacing original The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont. Thankfully, his presence on the crew of Fear suggests that Gimple won’t be leaving the flagship zombie TV series anytime soon.
Fear the Walking Dead season 3 premieres Sunday, June 4 on AMC.