AMC has picked up “The Walking Dead” for a ninth season, keeping the highest-rated scripted series on TV into 2019.
The channel has also made some behind-the-scenes moves, elevating showrunner Scott Gimple to the newly created position of chief content officer for “The Walking Dead” universe. Angela Kang, who’s been with the show since 2011 and is currently a co-executive producer, will take over as “TWD’s” showrunner for Season 9.
“This is an enormously important day for the entire ‘The Walking Dead’ television universe,” AMC president Charlie Collier says in a statement. “We are proud to acknowledge Angela’s significant contribution to the series and to set a clear path forward for a ninth season under her direction. Further, with gratitude and admiration, we also recognize Scott’s broad impact on, and leadership of, the content that fuels our ‘TWD’ universe. Together, we will dream bigger and more broadly than ever before.”
Gimple’s new post will have him overseeing the flagship show, “Fear the Walking Dead” and “potential brand extensions on a variety of platforms,” per AMC.
“The Walking Dead” has suffered sizable ratings declines in its past couple of seasons: The first half of Season 8 averaged a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 8.63 million viewers for initial airings, down 30 percent and 24 percent from Season 7 (5.4, 11.35 million). That season in turn was off 17 percent and 14 percent vs. Season 6.
Still, “TWD” is the top-rated scripted series on TV in adults 18-49. The next-closest competitor this season, “The Big Bang Theory,” is nearly a full point behind it at 2.9. “The Walking Dead” typically added about 2.0 points to its initial rating with a week of delayed viewing.
Season 8 of the show resumes in February; Season 9 will premiere in late 2018.
“The Walking Dead” joins this list of shows that have been renewed for next season and beyond.