The Walking Dead's writer and creator Robert Kirkman has dubbed the walker drama as "the zombie movie that never ends." Seven years into the AMC series and he has held true on that but eventually, Rick Grimes' story will have to come to an end.
Even the most popular TV shows have a series finale eventually.
The Walking Dead won't be going off the air any time soon, easily grabbing over 10 million viewers on a bad week, but how much longer can the show realistically last?
The Walking Dead may very well run for about 12 seasons -- meaning we are nowhere near the finish line.
Half way through Season 7, the show's storyline has reached a storyline equivalent to that of issue #111 in the comics. Spencer's infamous guts death was ripped straight from the pages of that issue. Most recently, The Walking Dead published issue #161. It is well ahead of the TV series and printed new issues every month.
On television, the series covers about 20 issues in a single season on average. Just to reach issue #160, the show would need another three seasons which would allow the comic to publish at least another 36 issues. Assuming the ratings maintain the show's prestigious "#1 On Cable" title, the network will likely continue to crank out the adaptation of Kirkman's graphic novels.
Kirkman commented on the matter in the recent issue's letter hacks and it's clear that he has no signs of slowing down with either the comic or the show. "It took us 6 seasons to get to 100," Kirkman wrote. "It won’t take us 6 years to get to 200 and that will take us to season … TWELVE. And we’ll still be ahead of the show at that point."
As for what's to come, we have the All Out War storyline somewhere in the not-so-distant future which will pit Rick's Alexandria, the Hilltop, and the Kingdom in a war against Negan's Saviors. Shortly after that, Maggie's baby will be introduced, a horrifying new group of barbaric savages called the Whisperers come into play, and Carl will develop a love interest in its leader's daughter. All of this, of course, assumes the AMC series continues to follow the storylines in place from the original comic books.
Fans need not worry, however. Declining ratings through Season 7 may be scary from a wide view, but they're still dominating Sunday nights and cable ratings, general. The show is almost guaranteed to reach a double digit number when it comes to total seasons.
For perspective, Fear the Walking Dead was renewed for a third season when averaging less the four million viewers per week.
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The Walking Dead returns for its seventh season on February 12, 2017. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.