Walking Dead fans, I have some major news from AMC. It's ... well, it has to do with what we can expect next year. As you know, a show's popularity isn't necessarily a guarantee that a network will continue the series, and gut-wrenching cancellations happen all the time. Remember Firefly? And Arrested Development?
The announcement came yesterday, and I really hope you are sitting down for this. Ready? Okay, deep breath, here goes: The Walking Dead has been renewed for a fifth season.
I KNOW, RIGHT? WHO COULD POSSIBLY HAVE FORESEEN THIS SHOCKING TURN OF EVENTS?
Aside from "literally everyone, even jungle-dwelling indigenous peoples who have never seen a television," that is. The show has been a ratings goldmine for AMC, to the tune of 16.1 million viewers watching the season 4 premiere earlier this month. The Walking Dead has been the top performer in the adults 18-49 demographic for more than a year now, and there's even a spinoff show planned for 2015 with an entirely new cast and setting.
Which is all to say, it was pretty much a giant no duh that the show would get renewed. AMC president Charlie Collier acknowledged the non-surprise of the network's decision in the official press release:
We are very happy to make what has to be one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever: The Walking Dead is renewed for a fifth season. This is a show that has erased traditional distinctions between cable and broadcast. Its expanding base of passionate fans has grown every season, most recently -- and most notably -- with the season-four premiere earlier this month, which broke viewership records for the series and became the biggest nonsports telecast in cable history. On behalf of the incredible team on both sides of the camera, thank you to the fans and here's to more Dead.
Showrunner Scott M. Gimple is on board for season 5, along with executive producers Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, and Tom Luse.
I can't say I'm surprised by the news, but it's still good to hear. I've really been enjoying this season so far, and it's awesome to know there's plenty more Walking Dead to come. I'm even coming around to the idea of a spinoff, despite my initial resistance -- check out what the cast and crew is saying about it:
The idea of seeing another part of The Walking Dead universe and exploring that is very exciting to me. It's going to be remarkable just how different things can be just by going to a different location. The thing that really excites me most about the spinoff is that I feel like I'm in competition with my 24-year-old self and have to top myself. That's a fun challenge for me. -- creator Robert Kirkman
I would love to see how the government responded to the outbreak and how it crumbled. The amount of security systems this country has to see that start: What was it? How did they find out and see them as they know it got out of hand. I'd love to go right into that situation room. You always want to know more from that. Cracking more into how that all broke down and what that looked like. -- Danai Gurira (Michonne)
In this world, I'd like to see other communities and other places. I'd find a way to weave in what the apocalypse looks like around the world. Is there any way for us to have any communication to find out what's going on in Egypt? Or is there any way to see what's happening in the outside world? I'd love to see more about what the military's involvement really is because people often ask me how it happened and that's too big of a question for me. That's above my pay rate! -- Chad Coleman (Tyreese)
I like the idea of a village full of children. There was a Twilight Zone like that that I liked. -- Norman Reedus (Daryl)
Are you glad to hear The Walking Dead's been renewed? Will you check out the spinoff?
Image via AMC