It’s not surprising news, but it’s news nevertheless. After breaking cable TV ratings records with 16.11 million viewers for the season four premiere “30 Days Without an Accident,” AMC’s The Walking Dead has received an order for a fifth season. The Walking Dead is by far AMC’s most popular and successful show, so it stands to reason that the cable network would want to keep the zombie gravy train going for as long as possible.
Although AMC president Charlie Collier stated that Scott Gimple would continue to be the TV series’ showrunner through this season, the question remains he will stick around through season five. AMC is famous for ditching showrunners on The Walking Dead, and Gimple is the series’ third showrunner in only four years. He followed after Glen Mazzara, who was fired at the end of season three, and Frank Darabont, who was fired in the middle of season two. Although we are only three episodes into season four, Gimple has done an extraordinary job on the series so far.
Gimple has made a few minor changes on The Walking Dead for the betterment of the series overall. He introduced a new deadly threat to the group with the mysterious infection and has managed to expand the characters on the show, many of whom have seemed two-dimensional for almost three seasons. While this season isn’t the most action-packed, in terms of zombie attacks, it has ramped up the character moments and drama.
With the renewal of season five and the announcement of a new “companion” series based on The Walking Dead, AMC will be basking in the spoils of zombie programming for years to come. The new series will take place in the world of The Walking Dead, but will not feature any of its characters or settings. The Walking Dead takes place in Georgia, so the new series could take place in California or Alaska and experience the same drama and action with a whole new group of survivors. The possibilities are really endless, and audiences don’t seem bored by what AMC and Robert Kirkman are churning out.
If The Walking Dead comic books are any kind of road map for what we could see in season five, Rick Grimes and his group make their way to Washington D.C. after the prison turns out to be a terrible option for survival. It will be interesting to see how the TV series will progress past the comic book, but for the time being, they are becoming less connected as each episode airs on AMC.
Charlie Collier also announced that a majority of The Walking Dead‘s production team would stay intact going into season five. Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, Scott Gimple, and Tom Luse will continue on with the new adventures of Rick Grimes and his group of zombie survivalists. Considering that The Walking Dead comic book recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, it’s likely that its TV series counterpart might eventually follow suit.
The Walking Dead will air “Indifference” this Sunday, November 3, on AMC.