Will The New “The Walking Dead” Showrunner Be Able To Save the Dying Series?

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: AMC)

You have to admire the longevity that “The Walking Dead” has managed to achieve.

Despite the show being currently in the midst of a lengthy and prolonged decline in viewership, somehow “The Walking Dead” has been renewed for a ninth season, while its sister show, “Fear the Walking Dead” will be returning as well.

Apparently a core audience of die-hard fans is enough to keep both shows alive, even if many members of the wider public has tapped out by this point.

Things aren’t going to be entirely the same next season for “The Walking Dead”, though, as a new showrunner will be taking the helm. Angela Kang, who has previously served as an executive producer on the show, is now going to be calling the shots.

Meanwhile, current showrunner Scott M. Gimple is also moving up the ladder, as he becomes the overseer for the entire “Walking Dead” brand, as AMC’s Chief Content Operator.

According to AMC president Charlie Collier:

“This is an enormously important day for the entire The Walking Dead television universe. 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. I know I speak for Angela, Scott and everyone at AMC when I say thanks most of all to the fans and the many talented people who have helped AMC play ‘Dead.’”

Kang has a lot of challenges on her plate in this new role. With “The Walking Dead” already showing signs of wear and tear, any further dip in audience interest could be blamed squarely on her shoulders, even if the current drop in interest has originated long before her time as showrunner.

The Walking Dead Michonne
Source: AMC

The entire series is in need of a shake-up, or more fans are going to start leaving in droves. Not many programs can keep going for nine seasons, and without some fresh ideas, it’s possible that “The Walking Dead” could dry up entirely.

That said, introducing too many new concepts could alienate viewers, and hasten the show’s demise. Kang will have to walk very carefully to avoid making things worse as she endeavors to reverse the current misfortune that’s plaguing “The Walking Dead”.

If Kang succeeds, this big creative change could help to revitalize the show, keeping “The Walking Dead” healthy for many years to come.

Alternatively, this could well be the beginning of the end for Rick Grimes and his plucky band of survivors.