The Walking Dead franchise has come a long way since its debut in 2010. The original TV series, based on Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore’s graphic novels, ran for 11 seasons and 177 episodes, concluding in 2022. However, the end of the main series didn’t mark the end of the franchise’s presence on television and streaming platforms.
In 2015, AMC introduced “Fear the Walking Dead,” an eight-season spinoff that incorporated both new and familiar characters from the original series. In 2020, they launched “The Walking Dead: World Beyond,” a two-season series, followed by the 2022 anthology “Tales of the Walking Dead.” This year, two more spinoffs featuring beloved characters from the core show began airing, marking a significant milestone for the horror franchise.
The original “The Walking Dead” series saw a meteoric rise in viewership, reaching 17.3 million viewers for its fifth-season premiere, making it the most-watched series episode in cable history. However, the show experienced a decline in viewership in its later seasons, with the last two seasons struggling to maintain even two million viewers per episode.
AMC had originally planned to have some form of “The Walking Dead” airing new episodes throughout the year for the franchise’s 10th anniversary in 2020, but various factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, prevented this. Despite the challenges, the franchise continued to expand.
In 2023, AMC launched “The Walking Dead: Dead City,” a summer spinoff set in post-apocalyptic Manhattan, featuring Maggie Greene and Negan. The fall season saw the release of another new spinoff, “The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon,” which had been promised for years. “Fear the Walking Dead” is set to return for the 2023–2024 winter season, followed by another new spinoff called “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live,” centered on the original series’ protagonist, Rick Grimes, and Michonne, scheduled for late February 2024.
With this, the franchise has achieved its goal of running year-round, making it a significant presence in the TV landscape. The recognizable brand of “The Walking Dead” continues to hold value despite the challenges it has faced in recent seasons, proving that it’s here to stay.