The Walking Dead Gets Renewed For Season 9 As New Showrunner Steps In


The Walking Dead hasn’t had the easiest time lately, with the show continuing to struggle with declining ratings and controversial storytelling decisions.

On one side of the lens, season 8 reached its mid-season finale the other month with all the urgency of a mindless walker lumbering toward its next victim. Titled “How It’s Gotta Be,” the super-sized episode failed to leave much of an impression on viewers, with most fans questioning the need to kill off Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), a mainstay of The Walking Dead since its inception.

Not only that, but Deadline recently told us that “How It’s Gotta Be” posted the worst numbers for a mid-season finale of The Walking Dead since 2011, and that’s despite the episode drawing in a grand total of 7.9 million viewers. But among adults aged 18-49, “How It’s Gotta Be” was down four percent from season 2’s “Pretty Much Dead Already.”

Still, the show continues to be one of the top rated series currently on television and as such, it should come as no surprise that AMC has now renewed it for a ninth season. However, there will be some fairly big changes going on behind the scenes.

That’s because according to Variety, Angela Kang, “who has been a writer on the show since 2011 and co-executive producer since 2013,” will become exec producer/showrunner next season. Scott M. Gimple, meanwhile, will step down as showrunner and instead act as “chief content officer” for the entire franchise.

“This is an enormously important day for the entire ‘The Walking Dead’ television universe,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, Sundance TV, and AMC Studios. “We are proud to acknowledge Angela’s significant contribution to the series and to set a clear path forward for a ninth season under her direction. Further, with gratitude and admiration, we also recognize Scott’s broad impact on, and leadership of, the content that fuels our TWD universe. Together, we will dream bigger and more broadly than ever before. I know I speak for Angela, Scott and everyone at AMC when I say thanks most of all to the fans and the many talented people who have helped AMC play ‘Dead.’”

Speaking about the announcement, Gimple had this to share:

“‘The Walking Dead’ is a special show which started in an entirely different era of TV, and continues, in this new era, to confidently take chances to tell compelling stories that excite audiences and make them deeply connect with its characters, adapting Robert Kirkman’s brilliant comic book.

As the show closes in on its tenth year, I’m honored to keep working with the talented, dedicated people behind and in front of the camera to make it all it can be, while expanding the world of ‘The Walking Dead’ with new narratives like ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ and a whole host of truly cool stories ahead. Angela is a big part of the heart and soul of ‘The Walking Dead,’ and I’m thrilled to help facilitate her vision of the show’s next era.”

Finally, Kang added:

“I am beyond thrilled to be stepping into this new role with The Walking Dead. Working on this series and having the opportunity to adapt Robert Kirkman’s amazing comic has been a fangirl dream come true for me. I’m excited to continue working with Scott and the wonderfully supportive folks at AMC, and can’t wait to share the next chapter of the story with our fans next fall.”

Obviously, this is great news for fans. Sure, The Walking Dead is far from its best at the moment, but season 8 is still an improvement over season 7 and with some new blood stepping into the showrunner position for the next run, that might just be the shot in the arm that AMC’s hit zombie drama needs to get fully back on track.

No further details on what to expect from season 9 were revealed along with this announcement, but we do know that The Walking Dead shuffles back onto our screens on February 25th, at which point the network will deliver the second, conclusive chapter to season 8.