AMC is planning on making more spinoffs of The Walking Dead. The network became a juggernaut in the ratings thanks to The Walking Dead, which is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman. However, despite AMC's zombie show continuing to be a ratings giant, it's still seeing a steady decline in viewership. If ratings continue to fall, no one will be watching The Walking Dead by 2021.
While The Walking Dead continues to be AMC's flagship series, its world got a little bit bigger when the network decided to produce a companion series in 2015, Fear the Walking Dead, which followed a different family on the other side of the United States. But it seems that two shows set in the world of The Walking Dead isn't enough for AMC, as they are now planning to develop even more Walking Dead content.
In an interview with THR, The Walking Dead's current showrunner and future chief content officer, Scott M. Gimple, promised fans that AMC was far from out of ideas for where to take Kirman's Walking Dead universe next:
"There are different approaches to how we tell stories and how long we tell them for and the places we can do them. I'm hoping to do a variety of different projects that are probably more in line with what we see on TV but maybe in different rhythms and formats and things like that. We'll still continue to come out with great digital content but I'm excited about the kind of stuff we can do. But I really am talking about all sides of it and I know we'll have more to talk about soon on that."
Gimple departs The Walking Dead at the end of season 8 to not only oversee Fear but also head up the channel's entire division of Walking Dead programming. His comments certainly imply that whatever is coming next might not just be as simple as another full series, but rather something out of the ordinary. While Fear the Walking Dead is the franchise's main spinoff, AMC also has Flight 462, a miniseries that ran in conjunction with Fear. It was a novel idea that allowed them to give characters a backstory in the same vein as prequel comics for blockbuster movies. Plus, it could've been a way for them to test the waters and see what they can get away with.
While it's unknown what Gimple and AMC have planned for the franchise, there are plenty of stories readily available that they can tell. For instance, Kirkman recently wrote a own Walking Dead spinoff comic titled The Alien, which focused on new characters Jeff and Claudia, who were in Barcelona when the outbreak occurred. The zombie outbreak was a worldwide event, which means there are virtually limitless stories for AMC to tell with their spinoffs.
As for the current shows on television, the upcoming Morgan/Fear The Walking Dead crossover has been hyped as an epic event for both shows, so who knows, it's possible that characters such as Carol, Daryl, or even Negan could find a new home on another show. Also, the idea of more shows also opens the door for the return of fan-favorite deceased characters like Abraham or Glenn if AMC wants to produce another prequel. Elsewhere, the show has (so far) failed to focus on major cities such as Washington D.C. and New York. If the network wants to go bigger, both of those locations could be perfect spin-off fodder. And, just as with The Alien spinoff, there are possibilities to take the franchise globally, with shows set in countries other than the United States.
Either way, Gimple clearly has big plans for what's to come. AMC reportedly wants The Walking Dead to keep on shuffling for decades. While that may not be a certainty, the network promises that both The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead will be joined by even more spinoff shows in the not-too-distant future.