AMC eyes up new The Walking Dead spin-off
James R | On 05, Mar 2019
AMC is eyeing up a new spin-off from The Walking Dead.
The zombie series, which first debuted back in 2010, has gone on to become of the small screen’s biggest hits, with over 120 episodes under its belt and a ninth season currently airing. It has since spawned a spin-off series, Fear the Walking Dead, but AMC is still looking at ways to expand the universe based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels.
Last year, when Andrew Lincoln’s long-running protagonist, Sheriff Rick Grimes, departed from the show, AMC promptly announced that he would be reprising his role in a separate series: a string of AMC Original Films bringing the zombie world to the big screen. That’s all part of the plan from Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple, who has previously announced plans for additional films, specials, series, digital content and more.
“There is much more on the way, featuring yet-unseen worlds of The Walking Dead and faces from the show’s past, as well as new characters we hope to become favourites, told by TWD veterans and emerging voices,” he explained. “We want to break new ground with different, distinct stories, all part of the same world that’s captured our imagination for nearly a decade of the Dead.”
“We believe this is a world and narrative with many possibilities and opportunities for character development and we’re excited to expand the series into a franchise that can live across multiple formats,” added David Madden, president of original programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios.
Now, the first word on one of these projects has been arrived, with AMC CEO Josh Sapan mentioning in a quarterly earnings call last week with Wall Street analysts that a new spin-off is on the way.
COO Ed Carroll confirmed to Deadline that the spinoff is in “active development”.
“We’re not at a stage where we’ll be announcing its plans to premiere,” he continued. “But we have hired creative people that have pitched story outlines. We feel very good about the development of that series. We’re not in a position to talk about partnerships in terms of other territories or ancillary windows, other than that there’s a healthy appetite for it and we’ve had a number of conversations with a lot of players in the space.”
The plans arrive as The Walking Dead’s original series sees its ratings slow in the ningth season, and as star Danai Gurira has said she will scale down her presence in the 10th season.
“We are well aware that when a show has been around for nine years, you would expect viewership to be declining, but I think we’ve managed that and managed that well,” Carroll commented. “When The Walking Dead is no longer part of the channel, I think that will have more of an impact on revenue than on [income] because generally expenses go up as the seasons continue and viewership declines. That’s just a general pattern with any show that’s been around as long as The Walking Dead has.”