Despite recording some of its lowest ever ratings last season, The Walking Dead is forging ahead with a complex ’10 year plan’, according to reports.
Extensive expansion of the zombie franchise, originally penned as a comic book series by Robert Kirkman, is set to take in ‘multiple movies’ and new TV shows.
A report by Bloomberg expanded on comments made by Josh Sapan, the chief executive of AMC, the US broadcaster which makes the show.
He told investors at a conference earlier this week that The Walking Dead will continue ‘over the next decade-plus’.
The Bloomberg report goes on to say that it will set ‘at least one series in another country’, to play into the popularity of the show overseas, and expand the Walking Dead universe.
There’s already one spin-off show, Fear The Walking Dead, which takes place prior to the events of The Walking Dead, and which is about to wrap filming on its fourth series.
But the news comes at a turbulent time.
Ratings for the last series consistently hit new lows all last season, dropping from a staggering 15 million at its peak, to around six million, as viewers tired of the ongoing brutality of the war between Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan and Andrew Lincoln’s Rick.
Some episodes saw audiences akin to its very first series, while commentators suggested that after eight years, viewers might just be fatigued with the show altogether.
News then emerged that Lincoln, who has been the linchpin of the show since it first aired in 2010, was to quit the show, with reports of Lauren Cohan exiting too, though via an ‘open-ended’ storyline.
However, though the audience for the show may have more than halved, six million viewers is still a huge audience in the US, with the likes of Breaking Bad only reaching that figure in its final series, and the likes of Mad Men only grabbing more like three million at its peak.
Couple that with a substantial worldwide audience, and it could be that the series may yet be revived.
Season nine is set to premiere next month.