AMC has officially announced that its flagship zombie drama series The Walking Dead has been renewed for an eighth season.
The Walking Dead first aired in 2010 as a six episode premiere season. Following the massive acclaim for the adaptation of Robert Kirkman comics, the Frank Darabont run production was renewed for a second which would run for a 13-episode Season 2 and four more 16-episode seasons would follow with Scott Gimple taking the reigns as showrunner in 2013.
The series is the highest rated on cable, airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET and averaging over 12 million live viewers with each new hour.
Season 7 is set to kick off on October 23 with anticipation at an all-time high for the AMC series. Comic conventions, tweets, comment sections, and conversations amongst friends have been plagued with the question of "Who did Negan kill?" for the past six months.
A start date for Season 8 has yet to be revealed but the series typically launches its new season in mid to late October each year.
The first episode The Walking Dead's eighth season will be the 100th overall.
As an adaptation of popular comic books, The Walking Dead covers an average of 20 issues of the Image Comics/Skybound book in a season. At this rate, the story line would kick off the eighth season at the end of a war between Rick's Alexandria and Negan's Saviors. It would take at least nine seasons to reach the a story point parallel to the most recent issue of the comics in which Rick's group has moved past Negan's and is battling a barbaric group called The Whisperers.
The Walking Dead's sibling series Fear the Walking Dead was also renewed heading into 2017 with its third season set to begin filming on December 1, 2016 with a premiere projected for April of 2017. Fear the Walking Dead hauls in a fraction of the ratings and total viewers The Walking Dead, meaning The Walking Dead likely won't be going anywhere any time soon. In fact, Fear's 3 million viewer per episode numbers is comparable to several other comic book TV shows which have run for up to five season already, such as CW's Arrow.
The Walking Dead is written by Robert Kirkman and executive produced by Greg Nicotero and Gale Anne Hurd. The series stars Andrew Lincoln, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Danai Gurira, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Steven Yeun, Michael Cudlitz, Chandler Riggs, Sonequa Martin-Green, Ross Marquand, Josh McDermitt, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, Christian Serratos, Austin Nichols, Alanna Masteron, Austin Amelio, Tom Payne, Xander Berkeley and Steven Ogg. Newcomers to the series in Season 7 include Khary Payton as Ezekiel.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.