The Walking Dead, AMC

‘The Walking Dead’ Is Safe From The AMC Ax, As Showrunners Launch A Two Decade Story Arc

While The Walking Dead still has a loyal fanbase and that cult following is unlikely to diminish anytime soon, there has been a fear that a recent trend in dropping ratings might endanger the show’s life on AMC. Until now, the network has remained silent, letting the rumors renew interest in The Walking Dead, but now, as the time comes to either renew or replace their line-up of original programming, AMC CEO Josh Sapan vows to fans that the Robert Kirkman-created series is safe for the moment and for a very long time to come.

AMC Boss Josh Sapan Reveals Why Fans Don’t Need To Worry About The Walking Dead

In recent seasons, The Walking Dead has seen a fairly consistent ratings drop, but, as The Hollywood Reporter reports, AMC isn’t as concerned about the numbers as the fans. In fact, Sapan sought to ease tensions among fans, critics, and series backers with a blanket statement in which he says The Walking Dead‘s ratings remain strong in spite of the recent drops in overall viewers.

“It’s pretty alive and vital and there’s a long time that we’re going to be playing with The Walking Dead,” Sapan said at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York City.

The Walking Dead
‘The Walking Dead’ fans don’t have to worry about a cancellation. [Image by AMC]

In fact, Josh compared The Walking Dead to the next two most popular shows currently running on television, Empire and The Big Bang Theory, and shared that The Walking Dead outshines both shows regarding ratings numbers.

Sapan added that The Walking Dead isn’t the only series to see a decline in ratings, citing other shows, including Fear the Walking Dead, as seeing similar drops. The AMC CEO attributes the drops to a decline of subscriptions, as online subscriptions see an increase, but Josh feels confident that the numbers will eventually level off and may even spike back up to previous levels.

As for The Walking Dead, it seems AMC is all but guaranteeing a permanent home for the show.

The Walking Dead Boss Scott Gimple Has Plans For The Next 20 Years

The Walking Dead, Scott Gimple
‘The Walking Dead’ showrunner Scott Gimple plans to keep running the series for 20 years. [Image by AMC]

The news that AMC has no plans to cancel The Walking Dead leaves the show’s future in its own hands and, as New York Daily News reports, producers on the Robert Kirkman-created adaptation are equally optimistic. In fact, series showrunner Scott Gimple recently shared that the cast and crew are shooting for an estimated twenty-year run. He goes as far as to suggest The Walking Dead is perfectly capable of competing with The Simpsons, which has been running for 28 seasons.

Gimple added that The Walking Dead comic book series has already been running for almost as many years and Scott says the series has never lost interest for him. He says he still looks forward to each new issue.

So how does Gimple and his crew expect to keep The Walking Dead fresh and exciting every season? Being faithful to the comic books is just one way, but Scott suggests the AMC series will require more than a play by play reiteration of the source material.

“We try to reinvent the show every eight episodes,” says The Walking Dead boss. “We have this story that is a fidelity to the comic book, but we’re also exploring original stuff, and those things help us go on every year.”

Gimple feels that the key to improving on previous seasons is to take risks with the show, launching story arcs that are divergent from previous seasons of The Walking Dead. Sometimes the gamble works, and sometimes it fails to impress fans, but, in the end, the fans will stick with the series out of a love for the characters and the overall zombie apocalypse theme.

“We love what we do,” added The Walking Dead executive producer, Greg Nicotero. “I spent 10 days with Andy, Jeffrey (Dean Morgan) and Norman (Reedus), and halfway through our press tour we are like ‘We have a f***ing awesome job. This is the greatest job you could have.'”

Season 8 of The Walking Dead will premiere in October on AMC.

[Featured Image by AMC]