"Girl, you need to call me." That's the text Colman Domingo sent Kim Dickens from the set of Fear the Walking Dead, initiating talks that would bring about Madison Clark's comeback in the second half of Season 7 and a renewed Season 8. The original series lead of The Walking Dead spinoff announced her return live on Talking Dead in December, confirming the mother of Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) survived her apparent death midway through Season 4. According to Domingo, who plays villainous Victor Strand in the second part of the season returning April 17 on AMC, that first on-set phone call was the start of many.
"I was very instrumental in Kim coming back," Domingo exclusively told ComicBook ahead of Dickens' Season 7 return. "She's not only my best friend, such a great colleague, but also knew that the showrunners... I was doing the showrunners' bidding, to be very honest. I wanted to make sure that Kim knew that she was going to be well cared for when it comes to story, and coming back to a show that she helped build from the ground up. I wanted to make sure that she knew that not only the cast and the crew, and the show owners and producers, that we've got her back."
After the late 2020 text from Domingo informing her producers were trying to gauge interest in a conversation, Dickens met virtually with Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple and Fear showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg.
Domingo, now a producer on the Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson co-created series he's starred in since the first season in 2015, was instrumental in persuading Dickens to continue Madison's story. Dickens will guest star in the back half of Season 7 before returning as a full series regular in Season 8.
"We wanted her to know that she can flex here. She can stretch here, that there'll be great creative there for her, which is all any good artist really wants, is the creativity to be on point and there to be a reason for her return," Domingo said. "And I know that I was instrumental in making sure that I'm bridging that gap. So I was very excited [about Dickens' return] after many late-night phone calls and strategizing and figuring it out on both sides."
The second half of Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 premieres Sunday, April 17, at 9:00 p.m. ET/8c on AMC and AMC+. The first two episodes of Season 7B will be available to stream that same night exclusively on AMC+, with subsequent episodes streaming one week early beginning Sunday, April 24.