ABC has chosen to cancel freshman series Whiskey Cavalier, leading many to question what that might mean for Lauren Cohan's character Maggie on The Walking Dead. Despite the premiere being given a prime time slot after the Academy Awards, the ratings decreased steadily and left the show with a 0.57 season average in the target demo.
The spy drama had been heralded as one of ABC's strongest new series with a stellar cast that included Scandal's Scott Foley, as well as Lauren Cohan, in the lead roles, which is why the below average ratings came as such a surprise. DVR gains were impressive, but they were not enough to save the sinking ship since they were merely doubling ratings as low as 0.4 to start with.
While Deadline reported that Warner Bros. TV has not given up on Whiskey Cavalier and will be shopping the series to other outlets and media platforms, the chances of a post-cancellation resurgence are slim for any show. But that opens the door for Cohan to return to the series that made her into a household name, because unlike most cast members of The Walking Dead, she was never killed off. Instead, Maggie Rhee (née Greene) was revealed to have left the group to travel with a community builder in the season 9 episode called "Stradivarius." Could the series pay her a visit, or even have her come back full time now that Cohan's schedule is freed up?
The Walking Dead has also seen its ratings and viewership decline in recent years, but it remains such a mainstay for AMC that CEO Josh Sapan has declared a plan to keep the universe alive for another ten years. This means there is plenty of time to bring Maggie back into the fold, as well as opportunities in which to do so either via the main series, one of the spinoffs, or the TV movies being planned. Showrunner Angela Kang even said she had more story ready for Maggie, and that possible appearances in season 10 would be subject to Cohan's availability.
As much as fans would love to see Maggie again - and indeed the show isn't the same without her - there's also the possibility that bringing her back would result in eventually killing her off. With so few characters left from the show's earliest seasons, it would be nice to imagine that some of them are in a better place while still managing to stay alive. The Walking Dead, by its very nature, is a show that requires its characters to be in pain and turmoil, so it's a battle between wanting to see Maggie return with little Hershel and not wanting to see them suffer anymore.
Of course, the Maggie viewers last saw in the 9th season is a much stronger woman who is capable of withstanding the onslaughts of fate - so, that hopefully wouldn't change after a few more episodes. Not to mention that it seems The Walking Dead has started learning to let actors go without killing their characters, given the way Andrew Lincoln's departure - and now Danai Gurira's - is playing out. However, whether Cohan returns to her zombie roots or not, it's clear she'll have plenty of options, despite Whiskey Cavalier's early end.