Fear the Walking Dead is "going to change quite a bit" in its sixth season, according to executive producer and Walking Dead chief content officer Scott Gimple. Season 5 ended with Pioneer leader Ginny (Colby Minifie) forcibly separating the altruistic caravan led by Morgan (Lennie James), sending Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Dwight (Austin Amelio), Daniel (Rubén Blades) and other survivors to different settlements controlled by the Pioneers. The 16-episode season will tell "16 little movies," says Gimple, with the reinvented show "being a bit more anthological" in its approach to its storytelling for this next season, the third under showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg.
"Structurally, the show is going to change quite a bit. There’s going to be a great deal more focus within the stories, a little less vignette-y in telling 16 little movies," Gimple told Entertainment Weekly. "The guys are out of the gate wonderfully with the first two episodes, and it is a differentiating thing. It’s something that separates that show from the other two shows, telling these 16 little movies, being a bit more anthological. It still is a serialized story, but it’s told through these very focused perspectives."
Fear dabbled with more standalone episodes tightly focused on one or two characters in past seasons, including Season 4 episode "Laura," a bottle episode detailing the meeting between Laura/Naomi (Jenna Elfman) and future husband John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) and Season 5 episode "The End of Everything," where documentarian Al (Maggie Grace) encountered CRM soldier Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon) in a so far one-off appearance.
"I think that’s going to be something that the audience really digs. There’s these episodes like Al and Isabelle or June and Dorie that were super focused episodes, that were some of our favorite stories to tell, and we’re leaning into that a little more," Gimple said. "That’s something that’s very exciting. Just what these characters are dealing with is very unusual to anything we’ve seen on the shows. Last season, there was a singularity of purpose, which is all these characters landed in this place of needing redemption. These characters are going to be in very different places now, and that’s going to add to the variety of storytelling, the conflict between the characters and the drama that springs forth from that."
When addressing the fifth season's poor reception from viewers and critics alike, Gimple said the sixth season fulfills "long-range plans" first put into motion with the fifth season. Audiences might have "different takes" on year five after fans "see the relationship between those two seasons," Gimple said.