The Walking Dead to end; Daryl and Carol spin-off in the works
If The Walking Dead has taught us anything, it is that when something dies, it is not necessarily truly dead. Fans of the show can take that lesson to heart as AMC has announced an endgame for the most successful scripted series in the history of cable television.
The Walking Dead will conclude in late 2022 after an expanded season 11 that will feature 24 episodes, including the COVID-delayed Oct. 4 season 10 finale, as well as six season 10 bonus episodes that will air in early 2021. That means there are 31 episodes of the show to air before signing off!
But there is still plenty more TWD to come. Not only is the franchise’s third scripted series, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, set to debut on Oct. 4 (along with season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead premiering a week later), but the cable channel also announced the creation of two new series, one of which features the fan favorites that have been with the show from the very beginning.
While Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier joked at the start of season 10 about riding off into the sunset on Daryl’s motorcycle, instead they will be riding off onto a brand new series. AMC has greenlit a TWD spin-off focused on Norman Reedus’ Daryl and Melissa McBride’s Carol to debut in 2023. The show was created by Walking Dead chief content officer Scott M. Gimple and current TWD showrunner Angela Kang, who will act as showrunner on the new series.
And that’s not all. Gimple will also be developing another new series titled Tales of the Walking Dead, which is described as “an episodic anthology with individual episodes or arcs of episodes focused on new or existing characters, backstories or other stand-alone experiences.” That means characters who perished in The Walking Dead universe could come back to life and be seen at some point before they met an untimely demise, and perhaps even before we met them on the show.
But even with new iterations of The Walking Dead taking shape, the end of the show that started it all — and broke cable ratings records in the process — will still be a monumental event. “It's been ten years gone by; what lies ahead are two more to come and stories and stories to tell beyond that,” said Gimple in a statement. “What’s clear is that this show has been about the living, made by a passionate cast, team of writer/producers, producers, and crew, bringing to life the vision put forth by Robert Kirkman in his brilliant comic — and supported by the best fans in the world. We have a lot of thrilling story left to tell on TWD, and then, this end will be a beginning of more Walking Dead — brand new stories and characters, familiar faces and places, new voices, and new mythologies. This will be a grand finale that will lead to new premieres. Evolution is upon us. The Walking Dead lives.”
Kang, who joined the show in season 2 and took over as TWD showrunner in season 9, had this to say about transferring duties from one show to the next: “I look forward to digging in with our brilliant writers, producers, directors, cast and crew to bring this epic final chapter of Robert Kirkman’s story to life for our fans over the next two years. The Walking Dead flagship series has been my creative home for a decade and so it’s bittersweet to bring it to an end, but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol. Working with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride has been a highlight of my career and I’m thrilled that we get to keep telling stories together.”
The two stars who will be continuing on fighting the undead also weighed in on their new spin-off. "I feel incredibly honored to be a part of The Walking Dead," Reedus said via AMC. "This show changed my life and career and everyone involved has truly been a family for me over the last decade. I’m thankful for AMC’s love and support and know there’s so much more story to tell and so much more to bring the best fans in the world. Daryl’s relationship with Carol has always been my favorite relationship on the show (sorry Rick). I love the way these characters interact and relate to each other on so many levels and can’t wait to see where their ride goes from here.”
"Of course, I’ve always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons," added McBride in her statement. "In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I’ve also long been intrigued with 'Daryl and Carol,' and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound. Their shared history is long, and each’s own personal fight to survive, even longer — the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal. But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I’m very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She’s like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I’m very excited!"
In the meantime, Daryl and Carol will have to deal with Beta and his horde of Whisperers on the Oct. 4 season 10 finale. With today’s news, we’re going out on a limb and betting they find a way to survive.