February 14 has been a date long marked in the calendars of The Walking Dead fans as it not only marks the return of season 6, but it could finally introduce Jeffery Dead Morgan’s conniving villain Negan – a nasty character from the comics that’s set to throw a spanner (read: barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat) into the works.
Indeed, the casting proved to be the kind of announcement ardent followers of AMC’s core TWD series have been pining for, spicing up the formula even at six years in. Even still, according to the network, the future of The Walking Dead remains as bright as ever, and recently, Joel Stillerman of AMC spoke to Vulture about the show’s staying power, and how it may outlive us all.
Here’s what Stillerman, President of Original Programming and Development at AMC, had to say on the matter:
“The answer to how long the show will go on in some way is directly correlated with the health of the storytelling in the comics. Those comics are firing on all cylinders. [Robert Kirkman] still writes every line of dialogue in those books, and is as engaged as he was when I think he was sitting around in Kentucky writing the first issue. That is very much part of the DNA of the show. He sort of felt like, in real life, this goes on for a very long time. We’re along for that ride.”
It’s difficult to fault AMC executives for remaining so confident about The Walking Dead, with the premiere of season 6 pulling in a record-shattering 19.5 million viewers. Strong momentum, no doubt, and the company’s President Charlie Collier weighed in on the staying power of the series.
“I will tell you we are not actively talking about the end of ‘The Walking Dead,’” added AMC president Charlie Collier. “We’re talking about how to keep this No. 1 show on television feeling as fresh as it does in season six. As a brand, we’re very sensitive to making sure that every aspect of it feels fresh and original, and that it’s not treated in any way that’s derivative or taken for granted. Our planning is current and future-focused, and it is not focused on the end at this time.”
We’re now a little over a month away from the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead season 5, with AMC’s zombie flagship ready to shuffle back onto the small screen once more in time for February 14, 2016.