The Walking Dead has reportedly been renewed for Season Ten, according to SpoilerTV. Network AMC has not yet officially announced a renewal.
An official announcement is expected to be imminent as the cabler announced its Season Nine return on January 13 in 2018.
Despite that slower-than-usual renewal — AMC previously ordered an eighth season of the hit zombie drama in October 2016, a week before its Season Seven premiere — the network is all in on The Walking Dead, planning to continue the universe for at least another decade.
Showrunner Angela Kang, who inherited that position from Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple with Season Nine, said in November she had already began development on a tenth season, which Kang hopes will see the return of since departed Hilltop leader Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan).
Cohan quietly exited alongside Andrew Lincoln in the Rick Grimes star’s final episode earlier this season and has since engaged in preliminary talks to return in Season Ten, should she not face scheduling conflicts amid duties to new ABC spy dramedy Whiskey Cavalier.
Lincoln has since returned to set to shadow a director as he eyes making his first Walking Dead directorial effort next season.
Danai Gurira, whose Michonne now serves as the sole and stoic leader of Alexandria in the wake of Rick’s supposed “death,” was in negotiations for a similar deal even with her star on the rise in Hollywood, where Gurira has proved a breakout in Marvel Studios’ blockbuster Black Panther and Avengers franchises.
“Our deals with Norman and Melissa allow us the flexibility to either move them or use them in more than one place, depending on what seems creatively right to Scott and to his partners,” AMC programming president David Madden told The Hollywood Reporter.
”We do look at this as a universe where we’re trying to expand into as many different places as the show fits. We think this is a franchise that could live across formats. So, we want to do it carefully; we want to be strategic; we want to try to do it right. But there is a multi-year plan that could include additional series, digital content and specials.”
Madden expressed hopes Gurira, who has been “very local about saying that she loves the show,” will stay on, even as The Walking Dead continues to prove it can navigate the loss of even its longtime central character.
“We love Danai; we love that character. Right now, she’s got a lot of opportunities and she needs to weigh what she feels is best for her. But we certainly would want her on the show as long as she wants to be on it,” Madden said.
“We really want her to stay. She is an incredibly valuable character and I’m really hoping she stays. Obviously, the lesson of Andy is that the show can survive anybody’s departure if need be but that’s not our goal. The goal is to have Danai continue on whatever basis she can make work, given the other things that she has going on in her life.”
Lincoln permanently departed the series midway through Season Nine, which returns with new episodes February 10. The Rick Grimes star will instead headline a trilogy of television movies set in a different corner of the zombie apocalypse, exploring where Rick was taken by Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh) aboard a helicopter in the final moments of Lincoln’s last episode.0comments
The movie side of the franchise will be shepherded by Gimple, now overseeing the development of additional films, specials, series, and other digital content to further continue the blossoming Walking Dead Universe that grows more expansive with the addition of Austin Amelio’s Dwight to spinoff Fear the Walking Dead’s in-the-works fifth season.
The Walking Dead Season Nine returns to AMC with new episodes Sunday, February 10. Its tenth season is expected to debut October 2019.