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AMC envisions no limit for how long The Walking Dead could stay on the air

05.22.2013

While AMC is losing BREAKING BAD this summer and MAD MEN possibly after next season, it would seem natural to discuss the potential end date for THE WALKING DEAD. But, the funny thing is, AMC CEO Josh Sapan sees no reason why THE WALKING DEAD couldn't air for five, ten, even twenty more seasons.

The Hollywood Reporter quotes Sapan at the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference as he discussed the future of cable programming in light of the success with original series on Netflix such as HOUSE OF CARDS and the upcoming premiere of the fourth season of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT.

“We hope that zombies live forever and we’ve just begun to find out what the post-apocalyptic world is like,” said Sapan, “so that we’ll be sitting here at the Barclays conference in 2022 discussing the fact that Walking Dead is not over … at that point, I think any one of the companies will have replaced the United States government and we’ll be in a complete free enterprise world in which there are no nations.”

THE WALKING DEAD is a large ensemble cast, much like LOST. But, when LOST tried to introduce new characters it felt forced since there were a limited number of survivors on the island. When those from off island arrived, they joined the cast more naturally. With THE WALKING DEAD, we have spent the vast majority of the series in one small area in Georgia. There is an entire country that could be explored. And, as time goes on, characters can be killed off and replaced with new ones as the story progresses. THE WALKING DEAD has been doing this successfully as a comic for over 100 issues with only a small core group still alive from issue #1.

While 20 seasons of THE WALKING DEAD may be a stretch, I don't see any reason to doubt that this show could carry on with a rotating cast for a long time. Do you disagree?

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6:54PM on 05/22/2013

The sign of a show with no sense of direction

The Walking Dead is a show that straddles the line of greatness but can never cross it and sits solely in mediocrity.

Think about it. Season 1 was ok and piqued everyones interest.

Season 2 was heavily criticized for absolutely NOTHING happening except baby daddy drama on a farm.

Season 3 moved things in the right direction and shit was getting good. Then the second half started and it was nothing but disappointment and an extremely lackluster season finale.

While I enjoy the
The Walking Dead is a show that straddles the line of greatness but can never cross it and sits solely in mediocrity.

Think about it. Season 1 was ok and piqued everyones interest.

Season 2 was heavily criticized for absolutely NOTHING happening except baby daddy drama on a farm.

Season 3 moved things in the right direction and shit was getting good. Then the second half started and it was nothing but disappointment and an extremely lackluster season finale.

While I enjoy the show and Darryl is an absolute badass. I do not see myself going back to this show in the future.

Having no end in sight is a bad sign. The greatest shows (or at least most) have an outline or at least an idea of what the beginning. Middle and end
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9:46PM on 05/22/2013
If they want it to go on for that long they better cut the 16 episode seasons down to 8-10. I love the show but in season 3 shit just dragged on & on building to this big "war" that didn't happen.
If they want it to go on for that long they better cut the 16 episode seasons down to 8-10. I love the show but in season 3 shit just dragged on & on building to this big "war" that didn't happen.
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+10
7:22PM on 05/22/2013
The Walking Dead Season 13 - Everybody has turned into zombies and living in an apartment complex and everything has changed from horror to "Friends" sit-com style. Yayyy.
The Walking Dead Season 13 - Everybody has turned into zombies and living in an apartment complex and everything has changed from horror to "Friends" sit-com style. Yayyy.
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2:11AM on 05/23/2013
I'd watch that show
I'd watch that show
6:44AM on 05/23/2013
Hehe, thanks!
Hehe, thanks!
+9
6:01PM on 05/22/2013

Not a Walking Dead Fan...

...but if I were, I'd be nervous. The best series tend to be those with a planned ending and only run for a few years. Otherwise writers leave, the tone changes, and the show winds up overstaying it's welcome. The Walking Dead will eventually jump the shark, and AMC will drive it into the ground.
...but if I were, I'd be nervous. The best series tend to be those with a planned ending and only run for a few years. Otherwise writers leave, the tone changes, and the show winds up overstaying it's welcome. The Walking Dead will eventually jump the shark, and AMC will drive it into the ground.
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6:44PM on 05/22/2013
you make a good point there
you make a good point there
7:08PM on 05/22/2013
They only have ten years of comic book backstory, and have so far only gone through three years (one year for each season). AND since Kirkman says he has the comic mapped out up until about issue 250 (they're on about 109 right now), I really don't think there's anything to worry about.
They only have ten years of comic book backstory, and have so far only gone through three years (one year for each season). AND since Kirkman says he has the comic mapped out up until about issue 250 (they're on about 109 right now), I really don't think there's anything to worry about.
10:24PM on 05/22/2013

This is bad.

Comics are a different medium. As much as I'd like to think that TWD will still be on TV 15 years from now, there needs to be a specific end in mind in order for the story to actually head somewhere. Otherwise, it'll just be another soap opera set on post-apocalyptic Earth. If I know there is no end, I wouldn't even want to watch it. I guess the only way I could see this running forever is if it worked like American Horror Story. Make it an anthology. End this block of the series and these
Comics are a different medium. As much as I'd like to think that TWD will still be on TV 15 years from now, there needs to be a specific end in mind in order for the story to actually head somewhere. Otherwise, it'll just be another soap opera set on post-apocalyptic Earth. If I know there is no end, I wouldn't even want to watch it. I guess the only way I could see this running forever is if it worked like American Horror Story. Make it an anthology. End this block of the series and these characters. Then start another series under the same banner and tell stories of other groups of people.
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7:48AM on 05/23/2013
I agree that you can't drag a show on for too long or else it loses it's edge, like exactly how I remember X-Files finishing. While the Walking Dead is still being written and the show's enormous success, I'm sure AMC see's huge dollar signs. Let's just hope as fans, they don't just push more unnecessary episodes and sacrifice quality.
I agree that you can't drag a show on for too long or else it loses it's edge, like exactly how I remember X-Files finishing. While the Walking Dead is still being written and the show's enormous success, I'm sure AMC see's huge dollar signs. Let's just hope as fans, they don't just push more unnecessary episodes and sacrifice quality.
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+4
9:49PM on 05/22/2013
Considering the comic seems like it could just keep going, I could see this. The comic is consistently good and if the show uses the comic as a backbone, at the very least, I could see it easily continue for as long as the comic. As long as it maintains it's quality, then I will keep tuning in.
Considering the comic seems like it could just keep going, I could see this. The comic is consistently good and if the show uses the comic as a backbone, at the very least, I could see it easily continue for as long as the comic. As long as it maintains it's quality, then I will keep tuning in.
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7:23PM on 05/22/2013
Both The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones could continue on well past their literally sources. They both have unending potential for story, it's just the challenge of keeping people interested while maintaining the quality.
Both The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones could continue on well past their literally sources. They both have unending potential for story, it's just the challenge of keeping people interested while maintaining the quality.
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9:59PM on 05/22/2013
Have to disagree with your unending potential point, and this goes with what you said when replying to my comment. Most of the zombies were created in the initial "turn", and those zombies would decay into the ground within a year or two. The survivors are in very small numbers (that we know of), so when they turn, they're not going to pose an overwhelming threat. The number of walkers would drop off tremendously two to three years post-zombie apocalypse, and it would be a different world.
Have to disagree with your unending potential point, and this goes with what you said when replying to my comment. Most of the zombies were created in the initial "turn", and those zombies would decay into the ground within a year or two. The survivors are in very small numbers (that we know of), so when they turn, they're not going to pose an overwhelming threat. The number of walkers would drop off tremendously two to three years post-zombie apocalypse, and it would be a different world.
11:07PM on 05/22/2013
Lets cap it off before it gets stale, like Breaking Bad. Not drag it into oblivion like Dexter.
Lets cap it off before it gets stale, like Breaking Bad. Not drag it into oblivion like Dexter.
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5:58PM on 05/22/2013
The Walking Dead is a great show, but from what I understand has stranded so far away from the actual comics that you have to wonder if it will ever overstay it's welcome with each season. I would however hope that it does last for many more seasons, but with the producer issues in only 3 seasons AMC definitely needs a better game plan for the future of the series.
The Walking Dead is a great show, but from what I understand has stranded so far away from the actual comics that you have to wonder if it will ever overstay it's welcome with each season. I would however hope that it does last for many more seasons, but with the producer issues in only 3 seasons AMC definitely needs a better game plan for the future of the series.
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7:00AM on 05/23/2013

Lots of new directions to go...

I'm a big TWD fan, and from what I'm reading below I will guess it's because I have *not* read the comics. I don't feel whatever discontent so many others are feeling on deviations from the comics.

What I do hope for is that many of the loose ends that have been hinted at be explored, like "The last we heard, the French were close to a cure". And I think there seriously needs to be a biologist/physicist introduced somewhere who can point out both the conservation of energy and conservation
I'm a big TWD fan, and from what I'm reading below I will guess it's because I have *not* read the comics. I don't feel whatever discontent so many others are feeling on deviations from the comics.

What I do hope for is that many of the loose ends that have been hinted at be explored, like "The last we heard, the French were close to a cure". And I think there seriously needs to be a biologist/physicist introduced somewhere who can point out both the conservation of energy and conservation of mass *must* mean that zombies can't stay animated forever.
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6:02PM on 05/22/2013
That IS the point of The Walking Dead story. Kirkman didn't like the way zombie movies just ended with the heroes getting away from one horde of zombies (or maybe not at all) when presumably there would be other hordes to run into.
That IS the point of The Walking Dead story. Kirkman didn't like the way zombie movies just ended with the heroes getting away from one horde of zombies (or maybe not at all) when presumably there would be other hordes to run into.
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3:14AM on 05/23/2013

Sentence correction

"And, as time goes on, characters can be killed off and replaced with new ones as the story progresses." should be "And, as time goes on, characters can be killed off and replaced with new ones as they get too expensive."
"And, as time goes on, characters can be killed off and replaced with new ones as the story progresses." should be "And, as time goes on, characters can be killed off and replaced with new ones as they get too expensive."
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+1
6:37PM on 05/22/2013
"… at that point, I think any one of the companies will have replaced the United States government and we’ll be in a complete free enterprise world in which there are no nations."

I really hope he's joking.
"… at that point, I think any one of the companies will have replaced the United States government and we’ll be in a complete free enterprise world in which there are no nations."

I really hope he's joking.
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6:00PM on 05/22/2013

It's happened before

Law and Order, Pacific Blue, 90210, etc. but even then I can't envision the Walking Dead going more than 10 seasons. 10 seems to be a benchmark for many series.
Law and Order, Pacific Blue, 90210, etc. but even then I can't envision the Walking Dead going more than 10 seasons. 10 seems to be a benchmark for many series.
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+0
7:13PM on 05/26/2013
test
test
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11:45PM on 05/22/2013

Blah. So what, just recycle the same plot points over and over...

Just do this:
Have some characters get killed off. Move somewhere else and after they get used to being there a while, make a silly situation based on stupid choices and move again.
Well, that's essentially the comic, too, so....
Just do this:
Have some characters get killed off. Move somewhere else and after they get used to being there a while, make a silly situation based on stupid choices and move again.
Well, that's essentially the comic, too, so....
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8:00PM on 05/22/2013
Zombies are rotting. I could see the cast branching out to other states, but after a year or two or three tops, most of the zombies would disintegrate. (Then it's an entirely different show.) That's less than 20 seasons unless we're talking about this show and its pace.
Zombies are rotting. I could see the cast branching out to other states, but after a year or two or three tops, most of the zombies would disintegrate. (Then it's an entirely different show.) That's less than 20 seasons unless we're talking about this show and its pace.
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8:51PM on 05/22/2013
In this world, everyone who dies turns into one if their brain isn't destroyed. There's no "cure" for it, it's just what happens to people now. You could die of old age and come back a walker. There are always new ones.
In this world, everyone who dies turns into one if their brain isn't destroyed. There's no "cure" for it, it's just what happens to people now. You could die of old age and come back a walker. There are always new ones.
3:12PM on 05/23/2013

Zombie Dogs..

I hope they incorporate ZOmbie animals such as z-dogs,z-bears,z-horses etc!
I hope they incorporate ZOmbie animals such as z-dogs,z-bears,z-horses etc!
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4:50AM on 05/23/2013

Hey AMC, I can tell you how long itll stay on the air

about one episode past the next POS season finale that builds to SHIT. i know you want to deviant from the book to keep people interested, but GODDAMN. to turn a massive, heart-breaking battle in the comics into NOTHING?? fuck off.
about one episode past the next POS season finale that builds to SHIT. i know you want to deviant from the book to keep people interested, but GODDAMN. to turn a massive, heart-breaking battle in the comics into NOTHING?? fuck off.
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-3
6:26PM on 05/22/2013
I prefer the shows pace of the story than the comic. The comic is a life drainer of a story and it just keeps shoveling shit on you month after month with little to no victories. The show is the same way but they at least know when to give the audience a breather every now and then.
I prefer the shows pace of the story than the comic. The comic is a life drainer of a story and it just keeps shoveling shit on you month after month with little to no victories. The show is the same way but they at least know when to give the audience a breather every now and then.
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10:57AM on 05/25/2013
God I don't think I can take any more of this. The show is bad enough as it is, an "indefinite" number of seasons doesn't give me much hope. Probably feel this way as a lover of the still excellent and ongoing comic series, but I mean can anyone really argue that the format of this show (8 episodes twice a year) with absolutely no consequences can maintain itself and its audience? The season 3 finale was probably the most pointless hour of television ever.
God I don't think I can take any more of this. The show is bad enough as it is, an "indefinite" number of seasons doesn't give me much hope. Probably feel this way as a lover of the still excellent and ongoing comic series, but I mean can anyone really argue that the format of this show (8 episodes twice a year) with absolutely no consequences can maintain itself and its audience? The season 3 finale was probably the most pointless hour of television ever.
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