The end is nigh for one of the biggest TV franchises in history. Writer and producer Kevin Deioldt took to Twitter to reveal that production is now underway on the final season of The Walking Dead, over a decade after the graphic novel adaptation first aired on AMC.
The Walking Dead Season 11 will wrap up the series in epic style, as it is poised to consist of 24 episodes spread across two years – we’ll be living through the airing of this final season in 2021 and 2022. And while 2022 will mark the end of The Walking Dead as we know it, AMC has already greenlit a spinoff series focusing on Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), so the story will continue beyond the series finale.
The Walking Dead has had a long and eventful road to this endpoint. The series premiered on AMC in 2010, back when the network was just gaining notice as a prestige outlet with shows like Breaking Bad and Mad Men. At that point in time, Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption) was the creator and showrunner, but he almost immediately began butting heads with AMC and Robert Kirkman during the making of that six-episode first season, and by the middle of production on Season 2, he was fired. That led to the show’s first but not last showrunner change, as Glen Mazzara took over and accelerated the farm plotline of Season 2 to solid response. But Mazzara himself would be out by the end of Season 3, announcing a parting of ways due to the classic “creative differences.”
At that point in time, The Walking Dead was a ratings juggernaut and AMC wanted to keep a short leash on the horror franchise. Scott M. Gimple took over for Mazzara at the start of Season 4, and he’s been steering the ship ever since, moving to the role of Chief Content Officer of the franchise in 2018 and handing the day-to-day showrunner reins over to Angela Kang.
Throughout this time, The Walking Dead rose to become the highest-rated show on all of television, and then had a pretty spectacular fall as fans and critics grew tired of its monotonous plotting and constant teasing of story points that failed to satisfy. Its ratings freefall coincided with the decline of ratings across the board on all terrestrial television, though, and licensing deals have maintained the show’s value for AMC from a profit standpoint.
Additionally, The Walking Dead franchise has expanded. The first spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead is still airing (now in its seventh season) and AMC recently launched the first of two seasons of a limited series called The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Then there are also those feature films focusing on the continued story of Rick Grimes following Andrew Lincoln’s exit from the series, which Gimple is spearheading. Although we haven’t had an update on those in awhile.
All of this to say, while The Walking Dead Season 11 will be the flagship series’ last run of new episodes, the franchise remains, well, undead.
The final six episodes of Season 10 start airing February 28th.
Kudos to our crew and cast (asskickers, the lot of ‘em!) on the long-awaited start of filming for S11. A full (effed up) year in the works, we truly hope it’s worth the wait. #TWD #TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/nyeoQO20ZX
— Kevin Deiboldt 🧟 (@kdeiboldt) February 8, 2021