AMC reveal plans for a third The Walking Dead TV show. Based on the comic books by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead first began airing on AMC in October 2010 and rapidly went on to become a worldwide sensation. Now confirmed for season 10 expected later this year, TWD has suffered ups-and-downs in terms of viewership but continues to be AMC's biggest draw and recently survived the loss of lead actor, Andrew Lincoln. Unsurprisingly given its success, a spinoff called Fear The Walking Dead dropped in 2005. Originally recounting the early days of the zombie apocalypse, FTWD has since caught up with the main show and several characters have crossed over between the two series.
Despite already juggling two projects concurrently, AMC have made no secret of their desire to expand the universe of TWD further, and around the time of the season 9 premiere, reports began to emerge that revealed several different undead ideas were lurking in AMC's pipeline. Following Lincoln's on-screen departure, the first of these was confirmed to be a series of Walking Dead movies starring the show's former protagonist, however rumors continued to suggest that AMC had more up their sleeve than just a feature length adventure for Rick Grimes.
Those suspicions have now been confirmed, as AMC have announced (via EW) that a third scripted TWD series is in the works. The new show has been created by franchise veteran Scott M. Gimple and TWD writer and producer Matt Negrete, who will act as showrunner on the new venture. The series will reportedly start production on a 10-episode run this summer in Virginia ahead of a 2020 premiere. A synopsis for the currently untitled new show reads:
“[The series]will feature two young female protagonists and focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the apocalypse as we know it. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever. Grown-up and cemented in their identities, both good and bad.”
Financially, it's not hard to see why AMC are investing more time and money into TWD. Even with the recent drop in ratings, both TWD and FTWD continue to do very well for the network, bringing in plenty of cash, and Kirkman's comic series is also still going strong, providing the main show with plenty of source material to draw from and leaving other titles room to tackle original stories.
With that said, this latest addition to the franchise surely risks burnout from even the most ardent of TWD fans. While many viewers would be willing to invest their time into watching both the main series and its spinoff - which helpfully run at different times of the year - is their interest strong enough to watch three separate shows set within the same universe? The Marvel Studios TV output perhaps demonstrates a precedent for such dedication but did have the success of the hugely successful Hollywood movies to fall back on. Each Marvel show also featured a distinctly different feel, whereas one of the biggest criticisms of FTWD is that it has become very similar to the main show in plot, themes and tone.
The untitled Walking Dead spinoff is expected to premiere in 2020 on AMC. More news as it arrives.