The Walking Dead is entering its tenth season on AMC. To go along with that, Fear the Walking Dead is still going strong and there is a third spin-off series currently in the works. That may not be something AMC is willing to talk about (save for it having young female leads), but it’s out there.
What’s also out there? Questions about how viable the show’s future really is? The Walking Dead season 9 posted some of its lowest ratings to date and the Fear the Walking Dead premiere ratings were down versus season 4. There are serious question marks as to how long this ship can run without capsizing. The upcoming Rick Grimes movies could be a commercial shot in the arm, but that all depends on when they air and it could still be many months away.
AMC Entertainment Networks chief Sarah Barnett was one of the people attending the Banff World Media Festival today and through that event, a picture was painted on the future of the franchise. It’s a picture of longevity — or at least one that will continue to be filled in so long as viewers come. Barnett, per Deadline, even made a rather bold comparison between The Walking Dead and some other prolific television franchises:
“For as long as audiences come to these shows, we’ll continue to look at the franchise or Walking Dead universe, which we see in the same way as Star Trek or Star Wars or Marvel.”
Is The Walking Dead really on the level of a Star Trek? The majority of people would probably do a spit-take after hearing something like that! It’s crazy to think that a show with a bunch of zombies and some eclectic personalities could be anywhere near the level of Star Trek, but there could shockingly be a little bit of truth to it. Think about The Walking Dead as a franchise in this era — it’s the closest thing that we’ve had to a runaway hit franchise. It may be for this era what Star Trek was back then. It just doesn’t have the same sort of pop-culture clout because Star Trek’s been around for generations.
In terms of popularity, The Walking Dead as a franchise is worth as much praise possible. As an inspiration, it may not be at Star Trek levels just yet. We know a lot of people were convinced to go into science because of watching shows like Star Trek: The Next Generation. We’re not altogether sure what sort of careers The Walking Dead inspires … survivalist preppers?
What about filming…
Barnett confirmed that AMC is continuing to evaluate their role in the state of Georgia following some controversial abortion laws. The state is home to a number of big-ticket productions including the zombie drama and multiple Marvel movies; if major studios pull out of the state, the financial impact on the economy could be severe.
Would it be okay for The Walking Dead to go away for a while?
Hey, Star Trek did, and now it’s back and more popular than it’s been in years. It’s pretty easy to get to this place once you announce a new show with Sir Patrick Stewart.
When the dust settles, do you think that The Walking Dead could have the same sort of multi-generational appeal of a Star Trek or some other shows? Share in the comments. (Photo: AMC.)
This article was written by Jessica Carter and you can follow her on Twitter here.