Right now, The Walking Dead is the most talked about television series on the air as it not only thrills and scares people, but also angers them in the worst way possible. The recent death (maybe?) of Glenn had people go off the rails, and then nothing much was said to confirm or deny it in the episode that followed this past Sunday. People love to hate it and hate to love it, but get used to it because AMC could technically run it for a full 25 seasons at least.
Please let it be known that there are possible SPOILERS ahead for the current season of The Walking Dead. If you don't want to know them, stop reading now.
A few days ago, AMC officially revealed that The Walking Dead was not only the number one television show among 18-49-year-old adults for the last three years, but that it was also renewed for a seventh season. The Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick was also renewed.
While everyone is happy with that bit of news, it's not much of a surprise. Yes, ratings have dipped a little bit in season 6 of The Walking Dead, but it's still one of the highest-rated and most watched shows on television. That being said, this is a series that could continue on for a very long time.
Again, there are SPOILERS for both the TV series and comic book versions of The Walking Dead. Continue on at your own risk.
Forbes has looked through things and made some very valid points. One of the other incredible book-to-TV series hits on right now is Game of Thrones and it's already run out of written source material. Next season will head into the world of the unknown from an unwritten sixth novel.
The Walking Dead has an almost endless supply of source material with the comic book version, and they're making it last. Show producers and writers are going through it very slowly and even adding things to it that never existed, such as Daryl Dixon and other characters and events.
At the beginning of season 6, Rick had just killed Pete, and that essentially put The Walking Dead television show in issue 77. Through a few episodes, it's up around issue 80 or 81 which is where Glenn and Heath ended up in a bad situation. As many know though, Glenn died (?) last week after being pulled off a van into a group of Walkers.
For anyone that has read the comic books, they know that if Glenn is really dead on the TV show, then his death was handled differently. In the source material, the villainous Negan killed him with his trust baseball bat named "Lucille."
Negan hasn't even shown up yet, but he's rumored to be coming late in this season. Also, many believe that Glenn will be back this upcoming Sunday or the week after.
See, this is only one of the numerous ways in which the show's creators of The Walking Dead are stretching out the material in the comic books. They're adding in some extra bits and changing certain things and prolonging something to keep people on edge from week-to-week.
Currently, the comic book version of The Walking Dead is at 147 issues, and it's taken around five-and-a-half seasons to get through a little more than half of that total. Even if not a single issue more was written, there are at least five more seasons of already written material for the TV show to continue on.
Creator Robert Kirkman is going to keep on writing the comic book though and has publicly stated he has enough in his head for at least double of what's already been written.
"I do plan on doing at least 300 issues, but if I'm having this much fun then I won't stop there," he wrote. "Also, if I suddenly start having a lot LESS fun, I may end it earlier, but I don't see that happening. I'm in for the long haul, and [artist] Charlie Adlard is too"
If the TV series version can keep the attention of the audience and the ratings are at a great level, then the show could go anywhere from 22 to 25 seasons. Producer Dave Alpert said last year that writers have plot-lines mapped out through season 12 if AMC wants to continue going that long.
There are some television series that are able to last more than 10 seasons and do it successfully. Law & Order and its spinoffs; ER; CSI and its spinoffs; Supernatural; Bones; Criminal Minds; and others have been successful at it. The Walking Dead is a different beast though, and it's costly to produce each and every week.
Still, if The Walking Dead can keep the ratings and attention that it currently has, then there is really no reason for AMC to part ways with it. If things keep going as they are, the Walkers and survivors could be battling it out for somewhere between 20 and 25 seasons.
[Images via AMC]