AMC on Monday officially renewed The Walking Dead for its tenth season, making it the longest-running scripted series in the history of the network.
Angela Kang, who inherited showrunner duties from chief content officer Scott Gimple for Season Nine, said in November she had already started work on a tenth season.
“It’s sort of like the process doesn’t end on our side of it, because it takes about a year and a half to make a season of the show, but we always air about the same time every year, so there’s always about like a half a year overlap,” Kang told ComicBook.com of Season Ten, set to premiere on AMC in October.
The longtime writer-producer hopes the next season will see the return of Lauren Cohan, whose Maggie quietly exited the show earlier this season alongside departing leading man Andrew Lincoln during his final episode as Rick Grimes.
Cohan has since boarded ABC spy dramedy Whiskey Cavalier in a leading role, which Kang says doesn’t necessarily preclude future Maggie stories.
"I hope it’ll work. We’ll cross that bridge [when we get to it],” Kang said.
“Lauren and I have had conversations, and she’s excited to come back, even if it’s not for a full season. We can work with that. That’s scheduling problems. We’ll figure out the story. She’s great. We have a great relationship, and she still loves the show. Sometimes our actors need to spread their wings a little bit. We get that.”
Also expected to return to the Walking Dead set in Season Ten — behind the camera — is Lincoln, who previously declared his intentions to make his first directorial effort on the series next season. Lincoln will be just the second star of the flagship series to direct an episode after former Abraham Ford actor Michael Cudlitz, who made his directorial debut with Season Nine episode ‘Stradivarius.’
The Walking Dead will continue to march forward without Rick Grimes, who is alive but will not be returning to the mothership television series. Lincoln will instead next reprise the role in a trilogy of television movies to air on AMC, to be steered by Gimple and Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman.
Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride and Danai Gurira are expected to again headline the tenth season, which could potentially delve into the Commonwealth storyline currently playing out in the comic books. Reedus and McBride both inked franchise mega-deals in November, securing their involvement for at least another three years.
Gurira had yet to be locked down by the time that story went live, but AMC programming president David Madden was hopeful the star would renew for future seasons despite her blockbuster success in the Black Panther and Avengers franchises.
“She has been very vocal about saying that she loves the show. 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.”
You can see Walking Dead fans’ reactions to the news below.
The Walking Dead Season Nine next introduces new enemy group the Whisperers and resumes with new episodes Sunday, February 10, ahead of the Season Ten launch this October.
The Walking Dead is officially renewed for Season 10 ? pic.twitter.com/GjJJnl3bG8— ➼ ? ? ? ? ✨ (@lenaddixon) February 4, 2019
#TheWalkingDead has been renewed for Season 10!
My favorite show lives on for another year and I couldn’t be more thrilled! https://t.co/5SoQNpDbzv— Jeffrey Kopp (@jeffreykopp97) February 4, 2019
the walking dead has been announced for season 10, i stay winning!— ben (@starkricks) February 4, 2019