The Walking Dead season 8 TCA panel canceled following stuntman’s death

TCA panelWhile The Walking Dead season 8 still attended San Diego Comic-Con following stuntman John Bernecker’s death, they’ve decided to sit out the TCA Summer Press Tour this year.

Previously, it was announced that executive producers Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero would be attending the annual critics panel alongside showrunner Scott M. Gimple. The biggest goal of the TCA Summer Press Tour is to spread the word on your show and explain what’s coming up in a way that is a little more descriptive than what is released at Comic-Con. It’s also a little less crazy than Comic-Con since the flocks of fans and intensity that happens at the convention isn’t at TCA. The majority of scripted shows/networks out there do tend to turn in an appearance in some shape or form.

According to Deadline, the producers have decided to sit this one out in order to attend Bernecker’s funeral, a choice that is fully understandable. The cast and crew behind show want to honor his life and say goodbye to a friend after an on-set accident led to his death; Gimple already read a statement honoring Bernecker at Comic-Con, which in general was more of a low-key affair for the show than it’s been in the past. (There was a full trailer released at the panel, which you can read some more of our personal analysis about over at the link here.) Missing the TCA panel to attend his funeral is a no-brainer.

Honoring Bernecker and his life comes first, and beyond that, The Walking Dead will be fine even if it’s not at the press tour this year. This is still the top-rated scripted series on television, even if its numbers are down and Game of Thrones is starting to nip at its heels a little bit more. Beyond that, it also has a huge international following, devoted fans, and strong source material to rely on. None of that is going away, and while we recently suggested that season 10 should be the end for the series, there is a chance that it could go on much longer than that depending on what the producers want to do.

When will you see more interviews with producers?

Following Bernecker’s funeral, the assumption is that everyone will go back to concentrating on filming for the eighth season in the Atlanta area, and will start to emerge more for the promotional tour when we get around to October. The show is returning to AMC then with new episodes, and there’s always a push that goes along with it that includes print interviews and talk-show appearances. While what happened to Bernecker won’t be forgotten, that should give everyone a little bit more time in order to properly heal and start to focus more on the show itself.

Our thoughts and condolences continue to go out to Bernecker’s family during what has to be a very difficult time for them. AMC the network will still be at TCA, and there is a chance they could discuss the show in some capacity. (Photo: AMC.)

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