If it were up to AMC CEO Josh Sapan, there would not only be a Walking Dead Season 5, we’d also have a Season 6, 7, 8, and so on and so forth. This summer, the TV exec told Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference-goers, “We hope that zombies live forever, and we’ve just begun to find out what the post-apocalyptic world is like. So that we’ll be sitting here at the Barclays conference in 2022 discussing the fact that Walking Dead is not over.”
Josh Sapan isn’t the only one who wants the Walking Dead story to live far into the future. When asked about the longevity of the comic book series (which is currently at issue #115), comic book writer (and executive producer for the show) Robert Kirkman told the DailyDead.com, “I think the book will go past 300 issues at this point. Charlie and I absolutely love what we’re doing and it is exactly the thing I have wanted to do ever since I wanted to do comics. I’m having the time of my life. The book is going to go on for a long time and no one is safe… not even Rick.”
And we haven’t even brought up the show’s stellar Season 4 viewership numbers, which are so far the highest yet of any AMC show. The Season 4 premiere was a mega-hit, with 16.1M viewers, and though the audience dropped in the second week, it still drew in 13.9M viewers, which is nothing to shake a hammer or spike at. In fact, these viewership numbers are akin to the kind of audience TV juggernaut American Idol has recently pulled in. Further, the AMC show is in direct competition with Sunday Night Football, which is unheard of for a scripted show.
And as to whether The Walking Dead Season 4 is actually good? Though nothing super-shocking has happened to a main character just yet, the ish is going to hit the fan, and soon. In fact, Norman Reedus, who plays fan favorite Daryl Dixon, proclaimed to Entertainment Weekly Radio, “This season is crazy [...] It’s by far our best season, and the writing is just phenomenal.”
With so much story to draw on from the comics, there’s no doubt in our minds that The Walking Dead can continue for as long as the creators want to keep working on it. And their willingness to take creative liberties with the comic’s plot means they should have no trouble keeping the TV juggernaut alive for years to come. Plus, we’re pretty convinced the show could just be a series of close-ups on a shirtless Daryl Dixon, and we’d still tune in live every week to see the action.
If the show continues with high ratings and superb storytelling, there’s no reason it won’t get renewed for a fifth season. Hell, if Glee can get renewed for two season at once, we think The Walking Dead should get renewed for at least 10 more seasons!
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.