It’s a Brand of Zombie Storytelling’: The Walking Dead Fatigue Gets a Response from TWD Boss

TWD chief content officer Scott M. Gimple shares his view on the ever expanding world of The Walking Dead.

Summary

  • Chief content officer Scott M. Gimple believes that The Walking Dead franchise still has plenty to offer despite talk of viewer fatigue.
  • The spin-off shows featuring classic characters in new contexts have led to stronger viewing figures and positive reviews.
  • The success of recent spin-offs indicates that The Walking Dead franchise is likely to continue for several more years, with more new additions in the works.

The word “fatigue” has been applied to many big franchises in recent years, such as the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but with several spin-offs in the last year, could The Walking Dead be about to suffer the same fate? Not according to chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, who believes that there is plenty the horror series can still offer.

The Walking Dead brought its flagship show to a close in 2022 after 11 seasons, but that was far from the end of the story. Even though creator Robert Kirkman unexpectedly ended the comic book series in 2019 after 16 years, the on-screen adaptation has not followed his lead, with three spin-off shows airing across 2023/2024. Dead City and Daryl Dixon have already been renewed for a second season and The Ones Who Live is currently airing on AMC, but is it all too much? Talking to the Los Angeles Times, Gimple said:

“With these latest shows, it’s about taking these classic characters and putting them in new contexts. We’re being more experimental. We’re putting forward the basic story values that Robert established in the comic — larger-than-life characters next to everyday folks — in really big situations that have real emotion. It’s not simply zombies or having shows with a bunch of walkers. It’s a brand of zombie storytelling. It gives us a way to keep going.”

How TWD Spin-Offs Have Revived the Failing Series

The Walking Dead ultimately hit its viewership peak between Season 5 and Season 7, when it pulled in up to 17million viewers. From then on, audiences dwindled as the zombie series began to turn into what many critics called a soap opera with added undead, and by the time the series came to an end in 2022, the numbers were closer to 2 million.

Despite this, spin-off shows featuring the most popular characters were already in production, with Dead City sending Negan and Maggie to New York, Daryl Dixon relocating to France and The Ones Who Live finally bringing back Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira as Rick and Michonne Grimes respectively. It seems that this was a wise decision.

With strong viewing figures, and reviews to match, The Walking Dead has risen from its own grave to shamble on across the wastes of an apocalyptic world once again. Although there is no way of telling how long this new wave will last, it looks like Gimple is fully expecting the franchise to go on for several more years at least. Dead City is currently filming its second season, and Daryl Dixon’s new episodes, under the heading of The Book of Carol, will air sooner than anyone expected this summer. While Gimple has remained silent over whether Rick and Michonne will be continuing their story beyond the current series, it would not surprise anyone if a renewal announcement comes very soon.

While this may seem like a lot of Walking Dead content, the fresh environments and familiar characters have proved to be a winning combination, and have created enough of a buzz to sustain even more new additions to the franchise in the coming years.

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