The Walking Dead returns with its explosive season 8 premiere tonight, and the landmark 100th episode will be immediately followed by a two-hour Talking Dead special.
Hosted by Chris Hardwick, the after-show discussion panel regularly invites cast and crew from The Walking Dead to its couch alongside celebrity fans to discuss and analyze the hit series. The super-sized Talking Dead will feature “about 20 cast members,” Hardwick revealed at New York Comic Con.
So far, the packed panel is set to include stars Andrew Lincoln (Rick) and Norman Reedus (Daryl), creator Robert Kirkman and executive producers Scott M. Gimple, Greg Nicotero, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert, with the remaining slots to be filled by surprise cast members, according to AMC.
As noted by the official Talking Dead Twitter account, cast members on hand for audience-submitted questions will include Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Negan), Danai Gurira (Michonne), Melissa McBride (Carol), Josh McDermitt (Eugene), Lennie James (Morgan), Alanna Masterson (Tara), Steven Ogg (Simon) and Xander Berkeley (Gregory). Pending scheduling conflicts, fans can hope to see Chandler Riggs (Carl), Lauren Cohan (Maggie), and newer series regulars Tom Payne (Jesus) and Katelyn Nacon (Enid) get in on the festivities.
Season 8 of The Walking Dead will see Rick and co. leading a revolt against Negan and his forces, which should give guests and fans much to talk about on the after-show. "Last season, Rick Grimes and his group of survivors were confronted with their deadliest challenge yet," the official synopsis reads. "With the comfort of Alexandria, they let their guard down, only to be reminded how brutal the world they live in can be.
"Feeling powerless under Negan's rules and demands, Rick advocated the group play along. But seeing that Negan couldn't be reasoned with, Rick began rallying together other communities affected by the Saviors. And with the support of the Hilltop and Kingdom, they finally have enough fire power to contest the Saviors.
"This season, Rick brings 'All Out War' to Negan and his forces. The Saviors are larger, better-equipped, and ruthless -- but Rick and the unified communities are fighting for the promise of a brighter future. The battle lines are drawn as they launch into a kinetic, action-packed offensive.
"Up until now, survival has been the focus of Rick and our group, but it's not enough. They have to fight to take back their freedom so that they can live. So that they can rebuild. As with any battle, there will be losses. Casualties. But with Rick leading the Alexandrian forces, Maggie leading the Hilltop, and King Ezekiel leading the Kingdom -- Negan and the Saviors' grip on this world may finally be coming to an end."
The Walking Dead returns to AMC tonight at 9/8c, followed by a two-hour Talking Dead at 10/9c.