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Just like the zombie apocalypse, The Walking Dead won't end any time soon

01.07.2016

When your television show becomes hugely popular, you're usually left with two options; bring the series to a natural conclusion while it's still at the top of its game, or milk that bastard until the well runs dry. AMC's The Walking Dead has enjoyed enormous popularity over the years and according to a recent interview AMC network chief Charlie Collier and programming boss Joel Stillerman had with Vulture, they'll be going with option two.

What’s so fascinating about The Walking Dead is that Robert Kirkman set out to do something that proved to be remarkably brilliant in a couple of very fundamental ways. One is he wanted to use the world of the zombie apocalypse as a way to get at social commentary. That was always the killer app for the show. But if you ask Robert what his motivations were for writing The Walking Dead, he would say, “I loved zombie movies, but I just felt like the worst part of them was always the ending. You always had to manufacture some ending.” So he set out to write this totally open-ended story, and the proof of that is in how vibrant the comics are.

The answer to how long the show will go on in some way is directly correlated with the health of the storytelling in the comics. Those comics are firing on all cylinders. He still writes every line of dialogue in those books, and is as engaged as he was when I think he was sitting around in Kentucky writing the first issue. That is very much part of the DNA of the show. He sort of felt like, in real life, this goes on for a very long time. We’re along for that ride.

So basically, as long as Robert Kirkman continues churning out The Walking Dead comic and the television series continues to dominate in the ratings department, there's no end in sight for The Walking Dead; AMC network chief Charlie Collier has the same opinion:

I will tell you we are not actively talking about the end of The Walking Dead. We’re talking about how to keep this No. 1 show on television feeling as fresh as it does in season six. As a brand, we’re very sensitive to making sure that every aspect of it feels fresh and original, and that it’s not treated in any way that’s derivative or taken for granted. Our planning is current and future-focused, and it is not focused on the end at this time.

So long as The Walking Dead continues to offer up some entertaining hours of television, I suppose there's no harm in letting the series continue on without an end-game in sight, especially as we know that there are several large story-lines in store, but I'd much rather see the show go out on top instead of churning out a sub-par series finale in its twentieth season. Speaking of seasons, the second half of The Walking Dead's sixth season will debut on February 14, 2016.

Are you happy to see The Walking Dead continue on for years to come, or would you prefer that AMC begin wrapping everything up?

Source: Vulture

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10:11PM on 01/08/2016
it's hard to say, I mean I like stories that have an ending...but since the source material is still going strong and no ending is in sight there, I guess there's no reason to talk about an ending with the show. I am getting sick of people being dumb being the thing that moves the story along. It's the BSG syndrome where nothing is happening, all of a sudden someone does something totally out of character and super stupid and now we have conflict!
it's hard to say, I mean I like stories that have an ending...but since the source material is still going strong and no ending is in sight there, I guess there's no reason to talk about an ending with the show. I am getting sick of people being dumb being the thing that moves the story along. It's the BSG syndrome where nothing is happening, all of a sudden someone does something totally out of character and super stupid and now we have conflict!
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12:11PM on 01/08/2016

Tighten Up the Stories

Since the middle of last season it seems that Rick and company but especially Rick have become brain damaged by the events leading up to and right after their arrival at Terminus. Rick has gone from the some what optimistic leader to almost being worse than the Governor in some aspects. But Michonne has gone the opposite direction into a happy fantasy. Carol is the only character who has stayed true to herself since forced out of the prison. The bad decisions, bad ideas and especially the bad
Since the middle of last season it seems that Rick and company but especially Rick have become brain damaged by the events leading up to and right after their arrival at Terminus. Rick has gone from the some what optimistic leader to almost being worse than the Governor in some aspects. But Michonne has gone the opposite direction into a happy fantasy. Carol is the only character who has stayed true to herself since forced out of the prison. The bad decisions, bad ideas and especially the bad plans Rick has made up to and including teaching the son of the man you executed how to shoot are just baffling. It seems the show is going for more style (the black and white episode) than substance. This and The Fear of the Walking Dead have already lost my girlfriend. I may be following her if the seasons last 8 episodes don't hook me back in.
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10:28AM on 01/08/2016
I just want the show to deliver consistently good episodes and they fail at this. Too many of the episodes are just so f-ing slow. I know a few people that liked the Morgan episode but it followed a pretty frantic and entertaining episode that ended on a thrilling cliffhanger. Sure, we need a breather...slows things down a bit after episodes like that...but personally, I had a week to recover, I didn't need a slow paced episode (well, to be honest, I never want a slow paced episode). The
I just want the show to deliver consistently good episodes and they fail at this. Too many of the episodes are just so f-ing slow. I know a few people that liked the Morgan episode but it followed a pretty frantic and entertaining episode that ended on a thrilling cliffhanger. Sure, we need a breather...slows things down a bit after episodes like that...but personally, I had a week to recover, I didn't need a slow paced episode (well, to be honest, I never want a slow paced episode). The Walking Dead has consistently dragged things on...whether it was the search for/fate of Sophia or what they did with the did he die or not fate of a certain character this season. Sure, they got me for about a nano second before I correctly predicted what had happened but with each passing week that they didn't come back to it, surely there was no one left who thought he died. They did a similar thing with Carol in season 3 I think.

Lets not forget the total f up that was the Governor, which meant they wasted the first half of season 4 correcting this mistake (corrected very well admittedly but it shouldn't have had to come to that). I'm half scared Negan will show up as a guy who seems to be a nice fella...kind of.

All in all, I'll continue to watch this show until season 100 coz I do love the zombie genre and well, this show does produce a couple of very entertaining episodes every season but more of that would be hugely appreciated.
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9:51AM on 01/08/2016
I like The Walking Dead, I consider myself a pretty devoted fan. But this is bad news for the show.
I know the story is written somewhat open-ended, in the sense the show and characters aren't really headed towards a specific end point, it's basically just trying to survive day to day. Which is great in the sense the writers are able to mix things up from season to season. But as people have said below, part of writing a great show is knowing when to end it. So sure, Kirkman may not have
I like The Walking Dead, I consider myself a pretty devoted fan. But this is bad news for the show.
I know the story is written somewhat open-ended, in the sense the show and characters aren't really headed towards a specific end point, it's basically just trying to survive day to day. Which is great in the sense the writers are able to mix things up from season to season. But as people have said below, part of writing a great show is knowing when to end it. So sure, Kirkman may not have an ending in mind and he might hate how zombie movies/stories end in general, but the great thing is, as the creator you can analyze each of those endings to see what doesn't work and come up with any kind of ending you want that you feel fits the story.

Kirkman has said numerous times that the intention of the story is to literally start with Rick waking from his coma and end with his death. Now how he dies, when he dies, why he dies, and the ramifications of that death are all open-ended for him to work towards. But I think for the writing room of the show, they don't need to be beholden to when Kirkman wants to end the series. They've changed things up enough from the comics that they're not obligated to follow everything to the exact letter.

The rumour is that Negan shows up at the end of season 6, meaning season 7 will be about him. I think they could honestly stretch that story over 2 seasons. In the comics it went on for a long time. And if they follow the type of format they did with the first half of season 5 (each episode picks up right after the previous, and the entire run takes place over a few days) then they could easily stretch this conflict to end of season 8 (maybe even the season 8 mid-way point). After that, they have a great storyline the comics are currently working through. That could probably last another season. So that would bring them to season 10. At that point, I think it would be time to start looking for an endgame to this story.
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10:14PM on 01/08/2016
interesting, I haven't read the comics, but honestly I'm totally fine with the show killing of Rick and allowing one of the other characters take the helm.
interesting, I haven't read the comics, but honestly I'm totally fine with the show killing of Rick and allowing one of the other characters take the helm.
9:50AM on 01/08/2016
The quality of the show has really gone down since Season 3. A lot of forgettable storylines and "why is this happening" moments. But we've invested so much time into the show that we have to see what continues to happen, even though we know it's declined in quality. For example, they teased Negan, and we'll all tune in to see his first appearance and they won't introduce him for like 3-4 episodes, I bet, meaning we'll keep coming back week after week. It's just getting cheap and lazy.
The quality of the show has really gone down since Season 3. A lot of forgettable storylines and "why is this happening" moments. But we've invested so much time into the show that we have to see what continues to happen, even though we know it's declined in quality. For example, they teased Negan, and we'll all tune in to see his first appearance and they won't introduce him for like 3-4 episodes, I bet, meaning we'll keep coming back week after week. It's just getting cheap and lazy.
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8:43AM on 01/08/2016

The best analogy I can come up with

The Walking Dead started out as a prime quality Steak House and as its reputation grew, it started producing McDonalds level quality food. So as that started to happen, people started leaving, however, theres enough people who like McDonalds that it keeps the restaurant afloat and popular.
The Walking Dead started out as a prime quality Steak House and as its reputation grew, it started producing McDonalds level quality food. So as that started to happen, people started leaving, however, theres enough people who like McDonalds that it keeps the restaurant afloat and popular.
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9:41AM on 01/08/2016
People are leaving? How do you conclude people are leaving the show when the ratings and viewership has only increased since season 1?

I know ratings aren't an indicator of quality. But it's not like this show is keeping just a small core audience to keep it afloat each week. This show has the majority of viewers in the 18-35 demographic. It literally has the highest viewership of any show on television right now.
People are leaving? How do you conclude people are leaving the show when the ratings and viewership has only increased since season 1?

I know ratings aren't an indicator of quality. But it's not like this show is keeping just a small core audience to keep it afloat each week. This show has the majority of viewers in the 18-35 demographic. It literally has the highest viewership of any show on television right now.
5:06AM on 01/08/2016

Have a plan guys and stick to it

While I love love love love love The Walking Dead I really don't want it to get to the "beating a dead horse" point. There IS a ton of material and a long way to go yet. If Kirkman ended the comics at issue 200 we'd get to season 12 easy. As long as the show keeps up the pace, keeps fresh and has compelling stories and characters, I feel I shouldn't care how long it goes for but I just dunno about this.
While I love love love love love The Walking Dead I really don't want it to get to the "beating a dead horse" point. There IS a ton of material and a long way to go yet. If Kirkman ended the comics at issue 200 we'd get to season 12 easy. As long as the show keeps up the pace, keeps fresh and has compelling stories and characters, I feel I shouldn't care how long it goes for but I just dunno about this.
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11:31PM on 01/07/2016
If the show still make money, it means there's an interest in it. Even if some people find it bad or stale. If people still watch it, then it will stays on the air.
If the show still make money, it means there's an interest in it. Even if some people find it bad or stale. If people still watch it, then it will stays on the air.
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10:29PM on 01/07/2016

Every good story has an end

As much as I love my shows, every good story has an end in sight, a white light they're working towards, so to speak. Without this end, there can be no proper storytelling; just endless stretches of peaks and valleys that lead nowhere. And knowing that the showrunners don't know where all this will end up isn't very comforting.
As much as I love my shows, every good story has an end in sight, a white light they're working towards, so to speak. Without this end, there can be no proper storytelling; just endless stretches of peaks and valleys that lead nowhere. And knowing that the showrunners don't know where all this will end up isn't very comforting.
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9:44PM on 01/07/2016
I've been reading The Walking Dead for 12 years now and I can't recall ever hearing Kirkman say he set out to write an open ended story. Did he actually say that or is the writer from Vulture implying that from the, literally, made up "he would say" quote from the AMC exec. I think the comic is still great, but the first half of this recent season of the show has felt like they're just blatantly milking it and trying to spread the most minimal amount of story across as many episodes as
I've been reading The Walking Dead for 12 years now and I can't recall ever hearing Kirkman say he set out to write an open ended story. Did he actually say that or is the writer from Vulture implying that from the, literally, made up "he would say" quote from the AMC exec. I think the comic is still great, but the first half of this recent season of the show has felt like they're just blatantly milking it and trying to spread the most minimal amount of story across as many episodes as possible.
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8:38PM on 01/07/2016
The show is already getting stale. I'm excited as hell for Negan to finally show up and start bashing unwanted characters heads in, but if they screw up the character and storyline then I'm done with the show.
The show is already getting stale. I'm excited as hell for Negan to finally show up and start bashing unwanted characters heads in, but if they screw up the character and storyline then I'm done with the show.
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8:41AM on 01/08/2016
I tapped out halfway through season 3.
I tapped out halfway through season 3.
8:15PM on 01/07/2016
I'm done with the walking dead, the mid season breaks get in the way of making a naturally constructed season. You have to build up to something before the break and then deliver the goods after the wait. We end up getting what feel like two different halves. That's just one issue with the show now.
I'm done with the walking dead, the mid season breaks get in the way of making a naturally constructed season. You have to build up to something before the break and then deliver the goods after the wait. We end up getting what feel like two different halves. That's just one issue with the show now.
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