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Following the announcement last week that HBO has begun discussing the eventual endgame for its hit drama Game of Thrones, AMC’s CEO Josh Sapan told The Hollywood Reporter that the end is not in sight for the network’s massively successful drama The Walking Dead.
While the announcement of AMC’s commitment to Dead will likely shock no one given the show’s incredible ratings and critical acclaim, Sapan’s prediction that the show will still be around in 2022 might worry some fans, since, like Thrones, Dead is based on written source material, and that source material is likely to either end itself or the series is likely to surpass the written material at a point in the future.
Dead has made clear diversions from its graphic novels in past seasons (unlike Thrones, which has stuck fairly close to its novels), but its viewing audience is still comprised of fans of the comics and the show will have to tread carefully should the comics eventually fall by the wayside as the show continues.
While the news that AMC plans to have Dead around for years to come will certainly bring smiles to the zombie series’ legions of fans, it will also calm general AMC watchers, who have been lamenting the upcoming loss of two of the network’s critically acclaimed shows. With Breaking Bad set to sign-off this fall and Mad Men scheduled to air its final season in 2014, AMC is facing a future with only one proven hit program in The Walking Dead. The next few years will be a transition period for the network, and it will be a comfort to know that even if things look bleak from a creative point, AMC will still have The Walking Dead to bring in viewers.