Curious changes are afoot at The Walking Dead, especially as the show’s eighth season has seen some notably tempered ratings. Sunday’s midseason finale also averaged some of the show’s worst numbers since Season 2, and – given the hour’s big twist and some contractual holdups – we had to ask: Is The Walking Dead’s future in question?
We’re accustomed to death on The Walking Dead, and doubly-so when the comics provide a road map. That’s what made that climactic bite in Sunday’s midseason finale such a shocker, and – before you ask – both producers and the actor in question confirm the character’s exit, noting “[That bite] is a one-way ticket.”
It’s easy to chalk up ex-Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont’s legal battles with AMC to growing pains, but it’s something else when all Walking Dead producers turn on the network. AMC has been slapped with lawsuits from Robert Kirkman, Gale Ann Hurd, David Alpert and Glen Mazzara, all alleging similar profit-scheming.
We’re now eight seasons into The Walking Dead, and three into companion series Fear The Walking Dead, so there’s no pretending the world is fighting back. An extended new featurette for the latter’s June premiere cements as much, also revealing exactly what became of Madison, Travis, Nick, Strand and Alicia since Season 2.
The Walking Dead has had no shortage of controversy since the brain-bashing arrival of Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan, though the series may have inadvertently stoked racial tension as well. U.K. suppliers apparently pulled official merchandise over accusations of racism, though Morgan himself dismisses the controversy with “people are stupid.”
Andrew Lincoln swore that The Walking Dead would feel more optimistic in the back half of Season 7, and may actually live up to that promise. See Daryl and Carol lock and load once more in a new trailer, while Eugene surprisingly enjoys his stay with Negan, and even Rick cracks a smile!
Let’s be honest: even the most diehard of Walking Dead fans would admit to tough going through the first half of Season 7, between all its brutality, and unease with seeing Rick so utterly broken. We’ve heard Andrew Lincoln promising a brighter future ahead, though the actor now acknowledges some fan frustration, promising “this season made a lot more sense once we got the last roll of film in the can.”