After 11 seasons, “The Walking Dead” is finally going into the grave.
The long-running gritty AMC drama, which is based on the popular comics by Robert Kirkman, will conclude in 2022 with an extended 24-episode season, AMC announced on Wednesday. The episodes are scheduled to air over the course of two years.
But its fans can take solace in the fact that, like its signature zombies, the franchise isn’t dead for good. The show’s current showrunner, Angela Kang, will return to oversee a spinoff series starring the cast members Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride as Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier, planned for 2023.
The new series is being created by Kang and Scott M. Gimple, the chief content officer of the “Walking Dead” television and cinematic universe.
“‘The Walking Dead’ flagship series has been my creative home for a decade, and so it’s bittersweet to bring it to an end,” Kang said in a statement. “But I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol.”
Gimple will also develop a new anthology series called “Tales of the Walking Dead,” which will focus on individual characters from the franchise, both new and old.
The Season 10 finale of “The Walking Dead,” which was set to air in April before being delayed by the pandemic, will air as a special episode on Oct. 4. Another spinoff series, “The Walking Dead: The World Beyond,” will debut on Oct. 4 after that finale. Season 6 of “Fear the Walking Dead,” which was the first spinoff, will debut a week later.
A theatrical feature focused on Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes character, produced by Universal, Skybound and AMC, is also in the works.
Although the show was once one of the most popular on television, viewership has declined over the years. The series premiere, which was on Halloween night 2010, was at the time the most watched scripted series in the history of cable among 18- to 49-year-olds.