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The Walking Dead: Why AMC Cancelled The Walking Dead and Ending it with Season 11

Published on February 2nd, 2021 | Updated on April 14th, 2022 | By FanFest

The Walking Dead has been a television powerhouse for nearly a decade. Last week, AMC announced that the show would be ending after eleven seasons. In its statement, AMC laid out all of the positives for establishing the show’s endpoint and highlighting that the world of The Walking Dead would continue on through new shows and other forms of media.

However, there are some more glaring reasons for the show’s departure that weren’t listed in the statement and it’s important that they are recognized.  These reasons are the sharp reality of a long-lasting television show and aren’t unique to just The Walking Dead but come into play with any show that has lasted as long as The Walking Dead.

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Source Material

The Walking Dead comic book surprisingly ended last summer. Its creator, Robert Kirkman, shocked readers and comic book retailers when he ended the series without any notice.  In fact, Kirkman had lead everyone to believe that the comic was going on, as he had released additional upcoming comic book covers.  However, the comic book ended without notice and the world of The Walking Dead in comics ended.

The comics final story arc focused on the community of The Commonwealth. This community is on the horizon for the television show and may, at best, supply one to two seasons of material.  With the source material gone, it only feels appropriate that the show should follow its course and end with what’s available.

Setting an endpoint for the show can be a positive for both the show and viewers.  With the writers knowing that they have exactly thirty episodes to finish the show, they can focus on quality over quantity.  For viewers, knowing that the show is ending, may spark interest in the show again for those who may have previously departed.

Either way, the show should try to mirror the storied conclusion of the comic books as best as possible.  The only way to truly do this is to bring back Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).  The show and comics start with him and end with him.  Robert Kirkman has said the comics are the story of Rick Grimes.  The television show should be too.

Money

The reality of a long-lasting television series is that the longer the show is on, the more expensive it becomes to create each episode.  The salaries of actors and key crew increase with time.  The Walking Dead has one of the largest cast ensembles on television.  As well, the show also has one of the largest production budgets with its sets, effects, and sizeable crew.  Let’s not forget that licensing fees also tend to increase with time.

There are several cast members who are rumored to have large salaries, including Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  The longer the show goes on, the more they will make.

What is hurting The Walking Dead is that advertising and merchandise revenue is declining as the show is getting older.  The show once brought in record amounts of advertising revenue when it was seeing more than 15 million viewers per episode.  In its earlier seasons, this was balanced against lower salaries and a manageable budget.  Further, viewers were consuming merchandise from the show at a record pace.

With the show now seeing under five million viewers per episode, the revenue has decreased significantly through both advertising and merchandise.

Ending the show, and starting new ones, resets budgets and allows them to balanced against the current realities of the new show – not the past one.

Departing Actors

One of the greatest difficulties that The Walking Dead has encountered with time is the loss of key characters.  There has been none greater than the departure of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) from the show.  After nearly ten years, Lincoln left to spend more quality time with his young family.  However, Rick Grimes is The Walking Dead and the show has always revolved around his character.

Another significant blow is the loss of Danai Gurira, who played Michonne. Gurira’s talents far exceed The Walking Dead, as she’s an accomplished playwright and now an Avenger with Marvel.  Gurira had outgrown the show.

Additionally, the show has seen the departures of Lauren Cohan, Tom Payne, and will soon see Christian Serratos leave for her new Netflix show, Selina.

Again, this isn’t an unusual occurrence for a show this age but the characters who did depart have also been its biggest. Couple this with the fact that The Walking Dead has never been afraid to kill off some of its biggest characters, many fans haven’t stuck around because they don’t feel invested in the current characters on the show.

Wrapping it Up

The Walking Dead is a fantastic show and one that will be discussed forever. As well, it will continue on through new shows and other forms of media, including the upcoming films.  All of the reasons above come into play when deciding if it’s time for a show to end.  And it’s time. The Walking Dead will now be able to go out on a strong note, ending with quality shows and mirroring the material that Robert Kirkman has given his readers and viewers.

The spinoffs will allow us to hold onto the characters we love in Daryl and Carol, while letting us take a look back at characters we miss on Tales of The Walking Dead. This decision was the right one and will strengthen The Walking Dead Universe for a very long time.

The Walking Dead returns on February 28, 2021 with 6 new episodes.

Let us know your thoughts on the end of The Walking Dead in the comments below!

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76 thoughts on “The Walking Dead: Why AMC Cancelled The Walking Dead and Ending it with Season 11

  1. I’m sad the show is ending but at the same time it really never ends for me I can truly say I live this series so much & it’s content is truly amazing everything & everyone on the show is percent FABULOUS! & like i said it never ends for me because I start the series from start to finish over & over every day for the past 10 yrs until the new season stars but I will keep on watching The Walking Dead from start to finish until I can’t anymore & I can also say that I always find something new even in the beginning of the series that I didn’t notice before it’s like a big brain puzzle
    Live you all at The Walking Dead Universe !!!!
    Your faithful fan always
    Myra Piepszka

  2. The show died with Carl. Greed was the reason the character was killed. The actor would’ve commanded an adult contract and made some real money. Carl and Rick were the show. After Glen was killed i was close to done with it. Carl was the final straw.

  3. I absolutely love TWD I use to have a great fear of Zombies cuz my Mom scared me when i was 5 years old watching “Night of The Living Dead”. I was completely terrified of Zombies till I was 48 and was into the second season of TWD. They taught me how not to be scared and how to fight back!!!_

  4. This show has been my main event every Sunday…..feeling lost on Sundays now….trying to get into Fear as I have since its beginning….and its getting better with Morgan coming back to reality…lol…hated all that every life matters crap. Dwight’s reunion with his wife was the best highlight in awhile…..I hate that bitch that runs that new town….but we always had someone to hate…..other than him killing Glen…..Negan has always been hard for me to hate. I will miss The walking Dead something awful…..yhst kids show….Beyond…I just haven’t been able to get into…….I hope the Daryl & Carol spin off can keep my interest…..if I have to go to a theater to see Rick Grimes return….not happening….so we’ll just see where it all goes……might be watching allot of football on Sundays now as I have of lately. After the Walking Dead ends…..will just have to try to get into some of these other strange shows that are out….but have to play catch up. NOTHING will ever replace the walking Dead……I’ve never been into a show like this one…and I’m 61….no youngin here……has been quite the run…..so thanks for the memories…..will miss the show terribly…..❤

  5. It’s SELENA**** Please don’t misspell the name of an iconic Mexican American Tejana singer

    At least Google to make sure you’re spelling a name correctly? ‍♀️

  6. So sad the show is ending..I look forward to watching every Sunday that it’s on and love the characters..use some imagination and keep it going..

  7. All this moaning about characters being killed off makes me laugh it’s a zombie outbreak people are going to get killed off, I’m surprised that any of them have survived for as long as ten years.

  8. Your so rite I mean they did it with fear the walking dead and its a great show has some of the best story lines really loving the new season I’ve not agreed with everything on TWD I would have loved to see Abraham fighting against the saviors and tha whisperes loved his character and Carl I don’t have to say anything else lol

  9. Very heartbroken that this show is going to end. The best that I have discovered in the zombie world. I love it and miss seeing it and how I wish that it would last longer. Have been attached to the show from beginning as well as to all the actors. Truly truly sad and I will miss it so bad.

  10. I hate to see it end . Hopefully some will move over to fear the walking dead like Morgan and some others did .

  11. I’ve been a fan from the beginning and this show raised the bar for television, but, all things must end. Give these wonderful actors a chance to do other great work.I do hope they really get me with a good finale!

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