Recent comments from AMC about there being "too many shows" has fans worried The Walking Dead spin-offs will get the axe.
AMC is on a cancellation spree. During the Television Critics Association’s latest press tour, President of Entertainment and AMC Studios Dan McDermott addressed the recent axing of shows like the sci-fi comedy Demascus and the recently renewed Moonhaven. Per Deadline, McDermott’s report indicated that AMC is correcting for having “too many shows,” a comment that casts suspicion on the upcoming array of The Walking Dead spin-offs.
“Factors including rising inflation, challenging ad market, too many shows, and an over reliance on streaming metrics that don’t necessarily deliver profitability, have caused most content companies, including ourselves, to take stock and recalibrate their forward path.”-Dan McDermott
McDermott’s comments came during a press tour in which AMC showcased upcoming projects like Lucky Man, starring Better Call Saul actor Bob Odenkirk, Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches with Alexandria Daddario, and The Walking Dead: Dead City, which follows original series characters Maggie and Negan in a zombie-filled Manhattan.
Based on a comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard, The Walking Dead was a flagship show for AMC for a decade. It concluded its 11 season run in November, but the series spawned a franchise with spin-offs Fear the Walking Dead, the now concluded The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Tales of the Walking Dead. The network has announced plans for more projects in the franchise, including Dead City, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, and an untitled show following original series couple Rick and Michonne Grimes.
All the upcoming spin-offs of The Walking Dead are currently slated for 2023 and are in various stages of production, with Dead City set to debut first. Given AMC’s showcasing of Dead City at the TCA press event, it is unlikely that the show is on the chopping block. But even with the original series wrapped up and World Beyond off the air, there are still five TWD shows in play, a high number for a network looking to scale back.
Fear the Walking Dead will premiere its eighth season in 2023, and may be headed toward a conclusion in order to make room for new TWD shows to haunt the airwaves. Tales, an anthology series set in the TWD universe, has seen largely poor reception from fans and may also find itself beneath AMC’s cost-cutting blade. The possibility still exists that AMC could end any of its new TWD spin-offs before they even begin, but seeing as each of the upcoming series feature the returns of fan-favorite characters, doing so would be a bizarre move for a network looking to capitalize on one of its most popular franchises.
McDermott clarified that, while AMC is slowing down its spending (the network’s recent round of cancellations amounted to approximately $400 million in savings), it is still dedicated to working with the best the industry has to offer in order to deliver franchises people love. The Walking Dead universe is sure to be a key focus for the network moving forward, but there are a lot of factors for AMC to consider while building its slate, and changing times may force conservative spending strategies on one of TV’s biggest franchises. Time will tell how AMC rolls with the market’s punches, and whether or not its choices will impact the life of The Walking Dead.