Update: Lauren Cohan explains why she's leaving The Walking Dead in season 9.
Lauren Cohan has opened up about her contract dispute with AMC over her role on The Walking Dead. Ever since Cohan had requested that AMC give her equal pay as her male co-stars, negotiations between Cohan and AMC had continued to take place. This led many to believe that Maggie wouldn't be appearing in season 9. Once being one of AMC's most lucrative and critically acclaimed shows, The Walking Dead has continued to go down the drain with ratings.
Ratings have continued to decline over the past few seasons. During season 8, The Walking Dead even hit an all-time low since season 1. Between the incredible actors and the storylines from Robert Kirkman's comic books, The Walking Dead still has a lot of potential but it can't seem to win back viewers. Rosanne even managed to beat the season 8 finale when it came to viewership, which is a surprise since The Walking Dead was once known for its record-breaking finales. For a while, it seemed uncertain whether Cohan would be returning to the show despite Maggie becoming a formidable leader in season 8. Fans now know that Maggie will be in season 9, just in fewer episodes, and Cohan has now explained what happened with the contract dispute.
As first reported by Variety, Cohan explained her contract dispute during a segment on Sirius XM’s "Andy Cohen Live." While talking with Andy Cohen, Lauren Cohan revealed that her contract with AMC had ended and she was simply renegotiating with the network for a salary increase. She further explained that the renegotiation was just a "standard business practice." Cohan continued to say that her storyline on The Walking Dead was still "open" even though she was pursuing other acting opportunities such as ABC's Whiskey Cavalier.
Her new show will no doubt be a change of pace from her usual blood-soaked adventures with Rick Grimes and the other survivors of the zombie apocalypse, but it's a relief that Cohan has chosen to do both shows rather than letting one slip through her fingers. Cohan returning to The Walking Dead is a good thing for both fans and for the network itself. The show recently ended Carl's storyline and Andrew Lincoln is also calling it quits in season 9. Having Maggie depart from the show as well would have been a headache for both the writers and viewers since she would have been the third series regular to be removed from The Walking Dead.
Despite the troubles The Walking Dead has been running into, Cohan will be returning to the zombie apocalypse in season 9. The season 8 finale saw a darker side of Maggie as she started to make plans to possibly overthrow Rick, so who knows, maybe Cohan will get a significant pay raise if she becomes the new leader of the zombie-slayers. For now, fans will just have to wait and see what happens when The Walking Dead returns later this year.
The Walking Dead season 9 premieres October 7 on AMC.