AMC's The Walking Dead will end after season 11, which will run over two years, with a spinoff focusing on Daryl and Carol already in the works. The long-running show, which debuted a decade ago, started as the story of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and a band of survivors trying to make it in a zombie-ravaged post-apocalyptic world. It was an instant hit for the cable network and has since expanded to encompass an entire universe of shows with a large ensemble cast that often crosses over from show to show.
The first spin-off, Fear The Walking Dead, debuted in 2015 and is about to embark on its sixth season. There is also another upcoming spin-off, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which will debut in October directly after the original season 10 finale, and focuses on a group of teens who have grown up during the zombie apocalypse. Additionally, the show's creator Robert Kirkman is currently developing a trilogy of movies that pick up Grimes' story following his exit from the main show after season 9.
Now, AMC has announced that The Walking Dead season 11 will be its final bow. Airing over two years, AMC says that the final season will consist of 24 episodes, meaning that with the final six episodes of season 10 still to air, the show only has 30 hours of story left. However, fans will be able to stay in touch with their favorite characters, as showrunner Angela Kang is developing a spin-off focused on the longest-surviving members of the cast, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), in collaboration with The Walking Dead universe's Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple. Both Gimple and Kang spoke about their excitement for the final season and the upcoming spinoff, which you can read below:
It's been ten years ‘gone bye;’ what lies ahead are two more to come and stories and stories to tell beyond that. What’s clear is that this show has been about the living, made by a passionate cast, team of writer/producers, producers, and crew, bringing to life the vision put forth by Robert Kirkman in his brilliant comic — and supported by the best fans in the world. We have a lot of thrilling story left to tell on TWD, and then, this end will be a beginning of more Walking Dead -- brand new stories and characters, familiar faces and places, new voices, and new mythologies. This will be a grand finale that will lead to new premieres. Evolution is upon us. The Walking Dead lives - Scott M. Gimple
I look forward to digging in with our brilliant writers, producers, directors, cast and crew to bring this epic final chapter of Robert Kirkman’s story to life for our fans over the next two years. The Walking Dead flagship series has been my creative home for a decade and so it’s bittersweet to bring it to an end, but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol. Working with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride has been a highlight of my career and I’m thrilled that we get to keep telling stories together - Angela Kang
The news of the show's end will surely be a blow for fans, who have come to love The Walking Dead over the past decade. However, even the most passionate fan of the main series has to admit that recent seasons have suffered from uneven quality. Clearly the showrunners have decided to wrap up the core narrative in order to avoid any further decline in quality, while also giving the expanded universe shows the opportunity to step out of the shadow of the original.
And of course, fans of the original series will still have the opportunity to follow at least two of the characters from the original show, given that Reedus and McBride, who both played coy about the future of their characters at Comic-Con, will be getting their own show. Both actors spoke about their ambitions for the spinoff, with McBride admitting that she's "curious" to see what Kang does with the characters.
Reedus, too, says he "can't wait to see where their ride goes from here," adding that being cast in The Walking Dead changed his life. It sounds like the spinoff will take the characters of Daryl and Carol in a new direction and expand the world in new and interesting ways. What's certain is that despite the original show ending, The Walking Dead universe is far from over.