It’s a week until Season 7 of “The Walking Dead” begins and fans find out who was on the receiving end of Negan’s barbed-wire baseball bat. Whatever happens after, however, will keep going for quite a while.

AMC has renewed its top-rated series for an eighth season, which will take the show into 2017-18. The announcement came during a two-hour special recapping the series to date that aired Sunday.

“Eeny, meeny, miny, more,” AMC head Charlie Collier says in a statement, echoing Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) taunt at the end of Season 6. “What a joy to partner with [creator] Robert Kirkman, [executive producer] Scott Gimple and some of the hardest-working people in television to bring ‘The Walking Dead’ to the fans. And, most important, thanks to those fans for breathing life into this remarkable series right along with us.”

The renewal is hardly a surprise, nor is the timing. AMC has done preseason renewals in the past, most recently picking up “The Walking Dead” for Season 6 a few days before Season 5 premiered.

Last season was a bit of a down one in the ratings for the show, but it was still far and away the No. 1 scripted show on TV. It averaged a same-day rating of 6.5 in adults 18-49 (down about 12 percent from Season 5) and 13.15 million viewers (down 8.5 percent). The show also had big gains from DVR and on-demand viewing.

Season 7 of “The Walking Dead,” with the revelation of whose head took the blow from Negan’s bat, premieres at 9 p.m. ET/PT Oct. 23 on AMC.

Posted by:Rick Porter

Rick Porter has been covering TV since the days when networks sent screeners on VHS, one of which was a teaser for the first season of "American Idol." He's left-handed, makes a very solid grilled cheese and has been editor of TV by the Numbers since October 2015. He lives in Austin.

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