It’s official: “The Walking Dead” will be coming to the end of the road after an expanded 11th season, which will stretch over the course of two years.
According to a Wednesday announcement from AMC, the series will wrap after a 24-episode season that will extend through late 2022.
But that won’t be the end for the franchise, with AMC’s press release also announcing a spinoff focusing on fan-favourite characters Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride). The still-untitled series, which will premiere in 2023, will be run by current “Walking Dead” showrunner Angela Kang, who co-created the series with Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of the “Walking Dead” universe.
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AMC is also working with Gimple to develop a new “Tales of the Walking Dead” series, described as “an episodic anthology with individual episodes or arcs of episodes focused on new or existing characters, backstories or other standalone experiences.” In addition, AMC is developing “a number of other new and innovative projects” set within the world of “The Walking Dead”.
“It’s been 10 years ‘gone bye’; what lies ahead are two more to come and stories and stories to tell beyond that,” said Gimple. “What’s clear is that this show has been about the living, made by a passionate cast, team of writer/producers, producers, and crew, bringing to life the vision put forth by Robert Kirkman in his brilliant comic — and supported by the best fans in the world. We have a lot of thrilling story left to tell on ‘TWD’, and then, this end will be a beginning of more ‘Walking Dead’ — brand new stories and characters, familiar faces and places, new voices, and new mythologies. This will be a grand finale that will lead to new premieres. Evolution is upon us. ‘The Walking Dead’ lives.”
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“I look forward to digging in with our brilliant writers, producers, directors, cast and crew to bring this epic final chapter of Robert Kirkman’s story to life for our fans over the next two years,” added Kang. “‘The Walking Dead’ flagship series has been my creative home for a decade and so it’s bittersweet to bring it to an end, but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol. Working with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride has been a highlight of my career and I’m thrilled that we get to keep telling stories together.”
“‘The Walking Dead’ made television history, and is one of those rare creative works that has given life to an entire content universe that is still in the early stages of growing and entertaining both new and established fans,” said Ed Carroll, chief operating officer of AMC Networks. “We can’t wait to bring viewers this expanded final season of ‘The Walking Dead’ over the next two years, and launch the fourth series in the history of the franchise, focused on the beloved Daryl and Carol characters, with the incredibly talented Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Angela Kang and Scott M. Gimple. There really is so much ‘walking’ ahead, in a number of very exciting directions, for this extraordinary creative universe we call ‘The Walking Dead’.”
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McBride and Reedus also weighed in with their thoughts.
“Of course, I’ve always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons. In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I’ve also long been intrigued with ‘Daryl and Carol,’ and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound,” said McBride. “Their shared history is long, and each’s own personal fight to survive, even longer — the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal. But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I’m very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She’s like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I’m very excited!”
“I feel incredibly honoured to be a part of ‘The Walking Dead’. This show changed my life and career and everyone involved has truly been a family for me over the last decade. I’m thankful for AMC’s love and support and know there’s so much more story to tell and so much more to bring the best fans in the world. Daryl’s relationship with Carol has always been my favourite relationship on the show (sorry, Rick),” Reedus said. “I love the way these characters interact and relate to each other on so many levels and can’t wait to see where their ride goes from here.”
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The 10th season’s finale will air as a special standalone episode on Sunday, Oct. 4; 10 more episodes are scheduled to air in early 2021, leading into the super-sized final season.