AMC’s third Walking Dead series could reach the network by 2021, according to Sarah Barnett, president of AMC’s entertainment networks group.
Asked by Vulture if the odds of the second Walking Dead spinoff arriving within the next two years is “99 percent or 100 percent,” Barnett answered, “We’re feeling pretty good about the development of show three. Yup.”
It remains to be seen if the network will have anything to preview at upfronts, the ad-selling event where networks present their upcoming fall and midseason series.
“These things, you just never know,” Barnett said. “You just never, ever know how difficult deals are. You think you’re close to something you’re not; you think you’re not, you are. It’s just difficult to know if all the pieces line up.”
AMC chief operating officer Ed Carroll revealed during AMC’s most recent earnings call in February the second spinoff is in “active development,” but the network was not yet “at a stage where we’ll be announcing its plans to premiere.”
“But we have hired creative people that have pitched story outlines. We feel very good about the development of that series,” Carroll said. “We’re not in a position to talk about partnerships in terms of other territories or ancillary windows, other than that there’s a healthy appetite for it and we’ve had a number of conversations with a lot of players in the space.”
That undefined series will fall under the purview of Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple, who now serves as architect of the budding Walking Dead Universe that first linked its two series when Morgan (Lennie James) exited the mothership show and boarded Fear.
Heading into its fifth season, Fear will again tether the two shows when a plot thread from The Walking Dead Season Nine carries over into that series, which also gains Walking Dead alum Dwight (Austin Amelio).
Should details surrounding the undefined third series fail to reach viewers by May upfronts, Walking Dead fans can expect a slew of updates in the coming months as the franchise heads into what Gimple promises will be an ambitious 2020.
“We’re working on a number of things right now, they’re getting very close. We’re gonna have a steady flow of announcements through the rest of the year, and then 2020 is gonna be bananas,” Gimple said on the most recent episode of live aftershow Talking Dead.
“There’s gonna be some pre-announcements made, we’re gonna have some announcements after that ... but what I will say is Fear the Walking Dead is coming up in June, and there is a story in the first half of the season that has to do with one of these greater stories of the universe that will bring in some of the things that all of you guys have seen before, and it will expand it out just a little bit more, and then we’ll have an announcement.”
Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman also promised “great stuff” is coming, including “all kinds of news” in the near future as Kirkman and Gimple get deeper into development on Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes movies.
Fear the Walking Dead Season Five premieres Sunday, June 2, ahead of the expected October premiere of The Walking Dead Season Ten.
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