We're also wondering about Lauren Cohan who, despite the cliffhanger last season, is supposedly only slated to appear in six episodes herself. Apparently her attempts at negotiating a new contract did not go as well as she would have liked so she moved or is trying to move on.
Reports are saying these two will be... "phased out." Whatever that means!
Then supposedly Danai Gurira (Michonne) is on the last year of her contract too.
Additionally, the show will have a new showrunner, its third, with Angela Kang taking over from Scott Gimple. Kang's resume includes... well, besides being a writer for this show, worked on a series called Terriers. But that's it.
Norman Reedus is negotiating for a $20M new contract to take over as the lead of the series.
There is no word from AMC on if the show is ending or not, but I would not be surprised, considering how they really screwed the pooch on the show.
So let's review a few thoughts here.
Last season was the worst f*ing season ever, with long, drawn out plot lines that took multiple episodes to cover that could have taken 30 minutes. There was also a ton of time wasting with facial close-ups last season, including the zombies. WTF was that about? My take? They had nothing to write about, so they added a TON of filler.
With Robert Kirkman having exited the network for Amazon, possibly this horribly stagnant season was a result of his creative input missing from the production. Maybe. I'm conjecturing.
They killed off Chandler Riggs character, who felt literally like a solid part of the life blood of the series. Then they milked the crap out of the event for a number of episodes.
The long-running comic still has Rick Grimes as it's lead, the character that Lincoln plays, so even though the show has been known to go off-script a bit from the comics, it looks like they're be totally off-script with Grimes going away.
Kang will be the TWDs fourth showrunner.
When you end up having multiple showrunners on a successful series, it's odd and smells like something is going afoul in the background. Frank Darabont left the series because AMC was trying to nickle and dime the budget, despite the millions it was making. Initially. someone else stepped up then Gimple took over, I'm sure, for a number of reasons - an excellent opportunity, being a company man... etc.. Now he's stepping down from TWD to oversee both Walking Dead shows for the network.
Gimple even said that season nine will feel like a totally different show. Yea, um, Scott, it did already last season.
Lincoln said he's leaving the show to be with his family in the UK. I would think long before nine years of being on a hit show, that may have already come up. But it's a nice, neutral thing to say.
Cohan has a potential new show on another network. (http://www.cinemastatic.org/2018/04/the-walking-dead-finale-lauren-cohan-contract.html) If it gets a 'order to series' call, you know she's gone. Though, it says a lot that she jumped onto a new series to begin with.
Too many folks are getting off this boat as AMC tries to squeeze the blood (budget) out of this turnip, leading me to believe that they know something we don't and that the boat is sinking. I could be wrong, and this newbie showrunner could pull off a surprise move. Right? Maybe?
By virtue of ratings momentum, the show kept plowing on, but last season was a definite dip in performance in many ways. Hell, even I stopped watching it the night it aired, but saved it for viewing a few weeks later. That's how bad it was for my household. Meh... only time (and ratings) will tell but I won't be surprised if season nine will be its last season, even with Reedus' new contract.
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