Zombies are immortal, in a way—barring the swift and gory destruction of a zombie’s brain, it will continue its inexorable search for human flesh, shambling interminably along until it literally falls apart. Zombies and TV’s foremost zombie drama, The Walking Dead, apparently have that in common.
A new report from Bloomberg has detailed AMC’s plans to keep its flagship show alive beyond its current cable run—plans that are said to include “multiple movies and new TV shows” that “collectively could cost several hundred million dollars,” keeping The Walking Dead on its feet for another decade.
At least one of AMC’s potential spinoff shows is expected to be set outside of the U.S., and the network is considering partnering with a media company or streaming service on their future Walking Dead titles, though Bloomberg stresses that those plans are “still being worked out.” Scott Gimple is overseeing the narrative elements of AMC’s expansion effort, while network president Charlie Collier is handling the business side.
While many feel that The Walking Dead—set to return for its ninth season (star Andrew Lincoln’s last) on Sunday, Oct. 7—is still running in high gear, others would argue that the zombie-apocalypse drama has long since taken on the reek of a reanimated corpse. Regardless, its expansion shouldn’t have much trouble finding an audience: The Walking Dead remains one of the most-watched shows on TV, though its ratings have been in steady decline since 2015, when it peaked at 19 million nightly viewers—nowadays, that average is down to 11 million, still a stellar number in the crowded Thunderdome that is TV today.
It’s plain to see why AMC wants to emulate the approach of a company like Marvel, whose stories have served as the connective tissue of a shared universe that transcends medium. But it’s fair to ask whether The Walking Dead’s expansion will be a search for brains worth following. Zombies may be immortal, but are they alive?