'The Walking Dead' Could Run For Decades According To AMC CEO

The Walking Dead is knee deep in all out war, but AMC sees much more in store for your favorite post-apocalyptic survivors.

The series still takes the top spot amongst cable shows, and AMC CEO Josh Sapan indicated the franchise isn't going anywhere for a good long while. “The use of the word ‘franchise,’ we don’t take lightly," Sapan said. "It’s not a sloppy or casual word,” Sapan said. “We’ve studied the best. Some have been around 30, 40, 50 years. We have a chance for a lot of life in the franchise.”

Sapan was speaking in regards to AMC's positive third-quarter numbers, and told analysts that the franchise is “in great shape and the people who are managing that great shape are motivated.”

Sapan's claim makes sense when you consider that there is no shortage of material to draw from. The Walking Dead comic series continues to chug along, and since the television series bobs and weaves a bit as far as story flow is concerned, it could get a great deal of mileage out of what's already there, nonetheless what is coming in future issues.

Ratings aren't what they once were, but then again those peaks were rather lofty. At its height, the series pulled in 20 to 18 million viewers, and while this season's premiere pulled in only 11 million, that is enough to take out pretty much everything else on tv.

Not to mention the two-hour live show Talking Dead, which airs directly after The Walking Dead. The show consistently delivers 2 to 3 million viewers, and that doesn't go unnoticed at AMC. “That’s a big, big number,” Sapan said.

Fear The Walking Dead has also developed into a worthwhile extension of the brand, and the two will have their first crossover next year. As for the flagship show, while the ratings have slid a bit, many see this as a return to form after an uneven (and brutal) season 7. If AMC has its way, fans could be watching The Walking Dead for decades to come.

Season 8 of The Walking Dead continues this Sunday on AMC.

H/T Deadline

The Walking DeadSunday at 9PM EST on AMC

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