It's been nine years since The Walking Dead first aired, and it has shown the walker outbreak for the first time in almost eight years. Early on in The Walking Dead season 1, audiences got a quick glimpse at ordinary life before the outbreak and zombie uprising got fully underway, along with brief sequences of Shane trying to rescue Rick in the season 1 finale and Shane getting Lori and Carl out of Atlanta in season 2. But this show hasn't used the outbreak to this extent before.
Showing the outbreak on TV is partially why AMC debuted the Fear the Walking Dead companion series way back in 2015. While Fear the Walking Dead's first two seasons did their job of depicting the fall of civilization, the later seasons devolved into something akin to the flagship series. And Walking Dead comic and franchise creator Robert Kirkman has expressly said before that The Walking Dead TV series won't ever show the actual zombie outbreak, as that's not what the show is about. Well, it seems AMC has found a loophole in that statement... sort of.
In The Walking Dead season 9 episode 10, "Omega", the new Whisperers character, Lydia, reveals who she is - as well as the origin story for her mother, Alpha - by recounting events from when she was a child. She explains that her mother transformed into Alpha during the early days of the apocalypse, and The Walking Dead shows audiences this by visiting the outbreak on-screen for the first time in eight years. Starting off with 23 days (and then later 43 days) after the outbreak, audiences see Alpha's origin inside a warehouse in Baltimore.
Since The Walking Dead's "Omega" episode only shows the outbreak from inside a warehouse and through a very limited scope, it may not count as technically showing the zombie outbreak in its entirety, so Kirkman's statement still stands, to an extent. However, it's a testament to AMC's Walking Dead series straying away from the comics in certain regards while also honoring the source material. While comic book readers never really get to see Alpha's origin story on the page, it's clearly something that the show's producers wanted to depict on-screen, perhaps as a way to get viewers to sympathize with Lydia's situation.
Even though AMC somewhat bypassed Kirkman's statement, the one thing The Walking Dead TV show most likely won't ever show is a full-fledged zombie outbreak - from day zero, that is; again, that's precisely why the network ordered Fear the Walking Dead in the first place. Audiences may never get to see a complete zombie uprising on the flagship TV show, just like they'll never get an answer as to what exactly caused the zombie uprising to begin with. The Walking Dead can only go so far.