The Walking Dead: The Reason Why AMC Canceled the Show

The Walking Dead has been a television powerhouse for nearly a decade. 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.

What is curious is that Scott Gimple, the man who runs The Walking Dead Universe, gave a surprising revelation about WHO decided to end The Walking Dead. In an interview with Decider, Gimple said,“You know, that was really more on AMC’s side of the equation,” Gimple said. “We have a ton of story to get through. And then story beyond that. AMC had a good idea of the space we were working in creatively, and they made a call on it. But to tell you the truth, there’s so much planned. Even beyond the 30 episodes ahead of us, it feels very, very far away. It feels like we’re at base camp to Everest.”

Where one would have thought this would have been a creative decision, wanting to end the show based on the principle of telling a complete and rewarding story, AMC appears to have finally recognized it needed to move on from the original show if it was going to be able to grow the other properties within The Walking Dead Universe.

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.

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.

20 thoughts on “The Walking Dead: The Reason Why AMC Canceled the Show

  1. IF you count the whole wide world, instead of just of the US then you will know this is false! More than the States watches the stow!!! They watch it different ways too.

    Wish there was a way to save the show FFS!

  2. With the producers destroying the show by killing off great characters and leaving us the crappy ones (aka CAROL), the viewership has declined because of this. And unless the producers bring in fresh new talent, and drop characters like CAROL, then the new shows will struggle to gain viewers!

  3. The show was based on the story of ‘Rick Grimes”……..when he left ( to me at least) , the show never recovered…….Daryl caused more people to die than anyone….and as a leader, just does not have it………they should have figured out a way to get Negan to lead……it is to discombobulated now…..is Carol crazy ( or not)…..will the ‘King” survive…….the show has lost it’s way………..I feel the same way about ‘fear the walking dead ” also.

    1. I was never nearly as invested in Fear….I think it got better when Morgan transferred over. and Beyond is just not good.

    2. Actually once the new writer took over in season 9 the show got better!!! Also this fear the walking dead has been the best season also

    1. We better get a season 11 or ll flip wtf out. We need closure after 11 years of being a dedicated fan I will.be sor asf att them if they don’t wrap it home it giving us a final season.

  4. We Lost characters like Abraham and Glenn is such foolish ways and fully storylines. Even with Andrew Lincoln leaving the show could very possibly have made it had it kept some of the Beloved characters that they decided to kill off! Look what they did to Carl.

  5. The show is not loosing viewers..there r more places to see it now like amc premiere that makes it easier for people to see it sooner than the sunday night showings that get the ratings….killing off the crucial characters was the big mistake..carl during was the snowball rolling down the hill..people got mad..rick leaving to b with his family may not have been the only reason he decided to go

  6. TWD is the only series most fans Are interested in. If any of the new series is anything like Beyond none will last Beyond is horrible so very boring, nothing like what TWD delivered . TWD was great at the beginning however killing off main characters for excitement/ shock was silly as you killed off the reasons why SO MANY FANS WATCHED following there favorite survivor hero. Also cost well maybe the money should have been spent on keeping actors, and writing better episodes, instead of making ANOTHER SERIES PUT IT BACK INTO THE series FANs LOVE… FURTHERMORE The reason AMC. Dropped TWD because there were TOO MANY dead series and TWD had the other 2 dead series in there slotsSO THEY LET TWD GO. SHITY TWD should have been the crown jewel but MONEY IS….disheartened fadding fan☠

  7. That is such bull. We look forward to the show every Sunday Night. It is our quiet time to enjoy together.

  8. This is very sad to hear but the fact that some of the most important people on the show has left or been killed off and made people lose interest. You got rid of to many Great Characters in such a short time. The shows not what it used to be and I’m not to fond of the spin-offs either, especially when you kill of the best Characters as well. You leave us with nothing really, unless you put some of the main walking dead characters into the new spin-offs. Not the little guys neither
    I’m sad to see the show ending but all good things come to an end

    1. Nothing last forever. During the first 5 seasons I felt invested into the characters. After Hershel’s murder it was all downhill. The Grove is the one episode that was nearly perfect. I stopped watching completely after Glenn and Abraham had their brains bashed on. One of the most violent scenes ever put on the small screen or big. It turned me off and I go back occasionally on weekends and binge those first 5 seasons occasionally. I didn’t care for how they fucked Frank Darabont as well.

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