The Walking Dead has dominated prime time TV since 2011 with a complex saga about the zombie apocalypse. The television series has since become a comic convention staple with two spinoff series, but there’s nothing quite like the allure of the original. Now it’s all coming to a sudden but sort of expected end. According to Deadline, The Walking Dead’s upcoming 11th season will be its last.
Season 11 was originally set to air this October in line with the show’s normal Fall TV cycle. However, the coronavirus pandemic means fans will only get the season 10 “finale” this year and Season 11 in 2021. Now, the upcoming season will be expanded from the 16-episode norm to a whopping 24 episodes over the course of the next two years. This means the series finale will take place in 2022.
It’s sad news for a lot of fans but makes sense for a few reasons. First, the flagship show has gone through a myriad of changes in the past two seasons. Core characters like Rick Grimes, Michonne, and Carl exited the series due to personal and behind the scenes reasons. This is on top of the many other key characters who have died off because, well, it’s the apocalypse. The show is mostly full of new faces who are cool but don’t have the same impact as the mainstays. For some characters like Rosita, there’s essentially little to no growth nor anything for them to really do anymore.
And, to some fans, the show has struggled to maintain its footing as a result. It’s tough to keep a show going for so many years and try to keep the fanbase engaged and interested. The formula of a period of peace, some inner conflict, big bad(s) show up, debate war, people die, go to war, and eventually triumph is wearing thin for some viewers. The Walking Dead is also coming up on the end of its source material so this is a good time to wrap things up for whoever is still alive at the end.
It’s sad news for a lot of long-term and dedicated viewers. But Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier fans won’t have to say goodbye to their faves forever. The aforementioned Deadline report reveals that actors Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride will go on to star in a Walking Dead spin-off series. The Daryl and Carol adventure will debut sometime in 2023. It would also be a spoiler for their future if it wasn’t so obvious that they are basically unkillable at this point.
Showrunner Angela Kang revealed via Comic-Con that Season 10 would have 6 additional episodes outside of its 11th season. So it’s a bit confusing right now. Are those episodes now a part of this massive season? Will one of them be a backdoor pilot for the Carol and Daryl show? Where do the Rick movies fit into all of this? There have also been hints that there could be more spinoffs or miniseries with other popular characters. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Negan or Maggie on their own show.
The Walking Dead may be ending but the story of this world will expand in the future.
Featured Image: Chuck Zlotnick/AMC