AMC's Walking Dead empire is continuing to grow, as the network's chief operating officer says a third Walking Dead TV series is currently in active development. The Walking Dead is now in its ninth season, while spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead is gearing up for season 5.
The franchise is based on an ongoing series of comics books by writer Robert Kirkman, who also serves as an executive producer on the Walking Dead TV shows. Following the recent departure of original series protagonist Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead, AMC announced that Rick would return in three feature-length films. Former showrunner Scott Gimple is now the chief content officer for the Walking Dead franchise, and is overseeing its expansion.
The Wrap reports that during AMC's fourth-quarter conference call, chief operating officer Ed Carroll offered an update on earlier news that more Walking Dead TV shows are being planned. Caroll confirmed that another TV show "is in active development," adding, "We’re not yet at a stage where we’ll be announcing its plans to premiere. But we have hired creative people that have pitched story outlines."
It doesn't sound like there's a fixed story for the next Walking Dead TV show just yet, though The Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan (who also left this season) has said that there have been "conversations" about a spinoff featuring her character, Maggie, though she said that nothing had yet been decided because "everything is so early days ambiguous." Cohan is currently playing the co-lead in ABC spy series Whisky Cavalier, so she may be too busy to play the lead in another TV show.
The Walking Dead franchise is currently in need of a boost, as the original shows has been suffering from declining ratings for some time, hitting a series low in season 9. Fear the Walking Dead also suffered a major ratings dip in season 4 after killing off two of its main characters. The Walking Dead is still one of AMC's biggest and most valuable franchises, but with the comic books, two ongoing shows, various video games, three upcoming movies and now another spinoff show on the way, audiences may be starting to suffer from zombie fatigue.
The good news is that The Walking Dead has nearly limitless potential for new stories, since we've so far only seen a few small corners of the post-apocalyptic world. The real strength of the shows lie in their characters, so with the right cast and collection of survivors involved, a new Walking Dead show could prove to be another major hit.
Source: The Wrap