The Walking Dead hasn’t had a good run of it during Season 8, with some of the lowest ratings the hit AMC series has ever seen. Despite that, AMC has officially renewed the zombie apocalypse drama for Season 9. Only there’s a catch. It won’t be coming back with the same showrunner.
A new showrunner is in place for these new episodes, which will debut in Fall 2018. The series is currently in its Season 8 midseason break, with the rest of the current season to play out this February. The future of the show wasn’t ever in doubt, despite declining audiences. But there definitely needed to be a change of some kind.
That change comes in the form or new showrunner Angela Kang, who is taking over for current showrunner Scott Gimple. Gimple is not leaving the show. He’s actually been promoted to a new position that oversees all Walking Dead related content. King has been a writer on the show for the past seven years, coming on board back in 2011. She’s been an executive producer since 2013, and has a good handle on how the show should be run, along with ideas in how to take the story in a new direction. AMC President Charlie Collier made this announcement today.
“This is an enormously important day for the entire The Walking Dead television universe. 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.’
Despite ratings slipping more than ever, The Walking Dead remains one of the biggest TV shows ever, even beating out other series on broadcast networks. The show remains a huge priority for AMC. And the universe also includes the spin-off Fear the Walking Dead, which is returning with a major overhaul and all-new characters in Season 4 later this year.
Having a new showrunner is huge news for The Walking Dead, and the hope is that Kang can bring something fresh that will pull viewers back in, once again making The Walking Dead must-see TV. Gimple will still have major input into the show as it moves forward. The current Season 8 is running the span of All Out War comics, and it’s not yet clear what the show will look like following the Season 8 finale, as this war with Negan comes to an end. Heading back into the midseason premiere, series star Chandler Riggs will be departing. It isn’t yet known if more big characters will be killed off before Season 9. The Walking Dead season 8 will continue Sunday, February 25 on AMC.