The Walking Dead has officially been renewed for Season 9 at AMC. The news comes just weeks after the series aired its mid-season finale, in which they decided to kill off one of the most beloved and important characters on the show, Carl Grimes. With the news of the renewal also comes news of a brand new showrunner for the upcoming season.
According to a Jan. 13 report by TVLine, Scott M. Gimple will be out as showrunner for The Walking Dead in Season 9. This news proceeds Gimple being under heavy criticism by fans for his decision to kill off Carl Grimes, played by actor Chandler Riggs. However, Gimple was not fired, nor was he punished for his decision to kill Carl. Instead, Scott M. Gimple has gotten a promotion and will now be serving as chief content officer for both The Walking Dead and its spin-off, Fear The Walking Dead, going forward.
The Walking Dead writer and co-producer, Angela Kang, will now take over showrunner duties from Scott M. Gimple. Kang marks the show’s fourth showrunner in 9 seasons. The original series manager, Frank Darabont, shockingly left the show after Season 1, and Glen Mazzara decided to exit the series due to creative differences after Season 3, which lead to Gimple’s reign as showrunner.
The Walking Dead will return with the second half of Season 8 on Feb. 25, where fans will be forced to say a tearful goodbye to Carl Grimes as Chandler Riggs gives his last performance as the character, who was revealed to have been bitten by a walker in the mid-season finale. Carl’s death will mark the loss of yet another original character, leaving only Rick, Morgan, Carol, and Daryl left from Season 1.
After it was revealed that Carl would be killed off the show, Chandler Riggs’ father went on an epic social media rant, calling out the show’s execs, including Scott M. Gimple, for telling his son that they wanted him on the show through Season 12, and then quickly changing their minds and deciding to kill the character of Carl, who is still very much alive in the comic books.
The Walking Dead Season 9 will begin airing in late 2018.