AMC’s “The Walking Dead” has had its hellish days.
Based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series, the zombie drama has survived multiple lawsuits, including four showrunners. More cast departures and bloody deaths than fans can keep track of. Now, AMC is trying to revive the show that started it all in a new form, as if it were a corpse rising from the dead.
This multi-billion dollar franchise debuted on Halloween 2010 after being turned down by NBC and HBO and quickly became a hit. Never anticipating that the show would become a global phenomenon and launch the career of Steven Yorn. Danai Gurira, and others, AMC, signed an unprecedented deal with Fox International Channels to acquire.
International rights to The Walking Dead
All international rights to “The Walking Dead” Additionally, the streaming rights to the drama. Which originally starred Andrew Lincoln (as Rick) and John Bernthal (as Shane), were sold to Netflix several years ago.
Developed for television by first showrunner Frank Darabont, the series became increasingly valuable as survivors escaped the undead.
The ratings for “The Walking Dead,” while still a hit by today’s standards, have dipped below 2 million viewers on the same day. More than 10 million from the horrific season 6 finale in April 2016. Which ended with a cliffhanger in which viewers had to wait six months for Negan, played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, to appear. Both Yeun and Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) are shockingly killed; the number has declined.
With valuable streaming and international rights tied up, “The Walking Dead” production costs continue to skyrocket even as viewership declines. Fan favorite Norman Reedus – easily the top hitter after the departures of Lincoln and Gurira – signed a franchise deal worth $50 million to $90 million with AMC in late 2018.
Make Money on The Walking Dead
“Ad sales were the only way to make money on The Walking Dead (the flagship show) at this point. One source familiar with the show’s financial structure told THR in 2020.
With rising costs and weak ratings, ad sales revenues declined, so AMC got creative with its flagship show. In September 2020, the basic cable network announced that “The Walking Dead” would end after a blockbuster 11th season, with two more spinoffs in the works. The company said in a statement.
Historically, when a season of a television show is “supersized. It is a way for the network to avoid the salary increases previously negotiated by the cast and crew. In Season 10. The Walking Dead” increased its episode count from an average of 16 to 22, with the final season consisting of 24 episodes.
In addition, with the announcement of the spinoffs, AMC will now be able to sell streaming and international rights to both series. Which, shockingly, features fan favorites Reedus, Lauren Cohan (Maggie), and Morgan.
At the same time, the budget and licensing fees for both spinoffs will be reduced. This paves the way for AMC to better monetize “The Walking Dead” after saying goodbye to “Better Call Saul” and “Killing Eve.”
In other words, AMC may have removed suspense from its flagship series finale by cementing the fates of fan favorites Maggie. Carol (Melissa McBride, off the Reedus spinoff) and Negan. And AMC hopes to better monetize the franchise with new offshoots of its flagship series.
Learn about the future of The Walking Dead franchise, which Chief Creative Officer and former flagship showrunner Scott M. Gimple will continue to oversee.
Fear the Walking Dead
The first spinoff, Season 8, is slated for 2023 and will feature the return of original star Kim Dickens (Madison) from her presumed death. The show, which Lennie James (Morgan) joined from its flagship in Season 4, is directed by showrunners. Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg. They took over for original series creator Dave Erickson in Season 4.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond
Originally planned as an ongoing drama, AMC moved the young adult-themed production to a two-season “limited series” that aired for two seasons in late 2020 before ending with little fanfare.
Tales of the Walking Dead
This episodic anthology series is supervised by Gimple. Allowed fans and producers to revisit characters and other elements of interest. The six-episode season aired over the summer, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
The Walking Dead: Dead City
A spinoff of the former “Isle of the Dead,” the show stars Cohan and Morgan and features Maggie and Negan from New York City. Eli Jornet will serve as showrunner for the six-episode season, which will debut in April with “Friday Night Lights” veteran actor Gaius Charles and others.
The show was originally set to co-star Reedus and McBride. But McBride wanted to stay in his hometown, and Daryl dropped out of the spinoff that wound up in Paris. Showrunner Angela Kang, who helmed the series from season 9 to the finale, also dropped out to move to Marvel.
Former ER showrunner David Zabel replaced Kang. The cast includes Clemence Poesy (The Essex Serpent) and Adam Nagaitis (Chernobyl). Darryl will premiere in 2023.