‘The Walking Dead’ News: AMC CEO Outlines Playbook And Future Of Show

The Walking Dead will likely have a home on AMC for as long as the show wants to air. But there are other things that take place behind the scenes, which includes the business end of the show that influences how the show plays out for its fans in Season 7.

AMC President and CEO Josh Sapan spoke with The Hollywood Reporter and gave viewers some insight into just how that matters and what that means for The Walking Dead as a franchise in the years to come.

For those devoted fans of The Walking Dead, there is practically no chance that they will miss an episode, webisode, or featurette for the franchise under any circumstances. As many already know, last year was the first time that AMC tried out the spin-off sector. But, they did so a little differently than most of your standard broadcast networks that air shows like Law and Order, NCIS, or CSI. Instead of just having spin-offs that broke lateral on the timeline, they opted for prequels or origin stories.

That was the case with Fear The Walking Dead, as well as the other powerhouse AMC series, Better Call Saul(Breaking Bad). As a matter of fact, AMC hit record numbers last summer with just those two shows alone. Combined, they accounted for a lion’s share of the spring and summer ratings, or basically all numbers after The Walking Dead Season 5 came to a close.

When speaking about Fear The Walking Dead, Sapan described it as a show that “was done extremely well, and the audience rewarded us (AMC) with their attention.”

Then, you have to consider all of the other potential revenue streams that The Walking Dead can potentially cash in on. First of all, in order to understand what that means, you have to look at The Walking Dead as a franchise and not a show.

The Walking Dead has grown to be so much more than just one of AMC’s many shows. It has taken on a life of its own and the network has prospered very well from it. But, if the franchise is to keep making money off of it, then they have to find creative ways to make it relevant to an audience for years to come.

“There really is a question of how much and when, how fast… how do we relate to fans when the shows are not on the air?” Sapan told THR.

As many fans already know, AMC and The Walking Dead producers found one sure way to make sure that their fans keep talking about them when the show is not on the air. That way is to have a major cliffhanger like the one fans saw at the end of The Walking Dead Season 6. That was definitely the franchise’s “Who shot J.R.?” moment.

But there is also another little thing about how The Walking Dead keeps their fans moving forward. Sapan actually spoke about this with a comparison to the James Bond franchise.

“You know, you don’t want bad casting in Bond. You don’t want the next Bond to be a loser,” Sapan said. “That matters a lot. And if you’re my age, you think, ‘Oh, man, they made a mistake with George Lazenby.’ But then Daniel Craig hit it. And so, people do care.”

Casting is everything and most fans of The Walking Dead will come right out and say that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was a great choice for the role of Negan on The Walking Dead.

But one of the best statements that came out of Sapan’s mouth was his enthusiasm for allowing creative minds to truly work out the best plans for The Walking Dead, which also includes making sure they are never underfunded. That basically means that he will not allow AMC to interfere with the core story on The Walking Dead, ever.

[Image via AMC]