It's a rotten world for Rick Grimes and co. in The Walking Dead, the AMC zombie drama that has taken TV by storm even as it propels its characters from one miserable situation to the next. Based on the comic books by Robert Kirkman (who is also an executive producer on the series), The Walking Dead had over 20 million people tuning in for its season 4 premiere last year, and AMC has ambitiously stated that the show could still be going strong by 2022.
That might just be true, considering the amount of faith that the network has in its post-apocalyptic nightmare world. In previous years new seasons have been greenlit just one or two episodes into the current season, and now AMC has jumped one step ahead by renewing The Walking Dead for a sixth season before the fifth season has even premiered. In a statement announcing the decision, AMC President Charlie Collier described The Walking Dead as an "extraordinary series" and promised that "There’s plenty more Dead ahead."
The Walking Dead is the most highly-rated show in cable television history and, although the competition with Game of Thrones is very close, has managed to hold on to the title of #1 show on television among adults aged 18-49 for the last two years. While it might seem premature to announce a sixth season before the viewership for season five is certain, audience numbers would have to fall by a very long way before The Walking Dead would find itself danger in of cancellation.
There have been a few moments of romance scattered among the four seasons of The Walking Dead that have aired so far, but one surprising new pairing is that of The Walking Dead and Irish rock band U2. The new single "The Troubles", performed by U2 and Swedish singer-songwriter Lykke Li, serenades Rick and the other survivors in two new trailers for The Walking Dead season 5.
This dual-marketing does raise the interesting question of what happened to rock bands and pop stars once the zombie apocalypse hit in The Walking Dead. Were they all wealthy enough to fly off to a private island and wait for the whole thing to blow over, or is there a zombie Bono wandering around somewhere?
The Walking Dead season five premieres Sunday, October 12th at 9/8c on AMC.