'The Walking Dead' Round-Up: Robert Kirkman Defends Latest Death, Season 9 Announced and More
'The Walking Dead' Round-Up: Robert Kirkman Defends Latest Death, Season 9 Announced and More
Derek Stauffer
Derek Stauffer
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
There's still a wait until the next chapter of The Walking Dead is set to debut. The second half of The Walking Dead season 8 will premiere on Sunday, February 28. However, at the Television Critics Association, several major bits of new information dropped about The Walking Dead and its spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead.

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The Walking Dead Season 9 Announced with New Showrunner 

The Walking Dead season 8 hasn't been quite as successful as previous years, both critically and in the ratings. Yet it doesn't come as a surprise that the show will continue for at least one more year. The Walking Dead has been officially renewed for season 9. However, The Walking Dead might feel a little different in season 9. 

AMC announced that while the show has been renewed for season 9, it'll be losing its showrunner in the process. The Walking Dead has had a shaky history with showrunners, as this is the fourth showrunner for the series. However unlike the previous two examples, current showrunner Scott Gimple isn't being fired or leaving. Gimple is, in fact, being promoted to Chief Content Officer. This means that he will oversee The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. This also suggests the franchise has quite a lengthy future ahead of it.

In Gimple's place, Angela Kang will serve as new showrunner. Kang has been a writer on the show since 2011 and a co-executive producer since 2013. This will be her first job as a showrunner. 

"I am beyond thrilled to be stepping into this new role with The Walking Dead. Working on this series and having the opportunity to adapt Robert Kirkman's amazing comic has been a fangirl dream come true for me," Kang said. "I'm excited to continue working with Scott and the wonderfully supportive folks at AMC, and can't wait to share the next chapter of the story with our fans next fall." 

Defending the Death of Carl

While season 9 will be a new beginning, it'll also be the first full season without a certain character and actor from season 1. After being bitten by a walker, Carl Grimes will die in the season 8 midseason premiere. It's a move that's proved to be somewhat controversial, especially since Carl is still alive in the comics. Despite that fact, the writer of the comics, Robert Kirkman, is defending the show's choice to kill Carl. 

"I know that some fans online have been very upset, but that's by design," Kirkman explained in an interview with EW. "We're not supposed to be happy when these characters die. We are supposed to be worried about what comes next, and anticipating what comes next, and stressing about what comes next. That just shows that you're engaged and you're interested. Our job is to now pay that off and fulfill that interest, and prove that this was a decision worth making. That's what we've got to do."

"There are plans in place to make it all work," Kirkman said of Carl's death. "The loss of Carl doesn't necessarily mean that we're going to be losing big swaths of the comic book story. It means that there will be some differences to them. The goal is that those differences will be as exciting to the audience as they are to me."

Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 Premiere Date Announced 

Carl's exit is confirmed. However, the future of another beloved character is also in doubt. Lennie James, who plays Morgan, will be leaving The Walking Dead for Fear the Walking Dead. The character will crossover to Fear and leave his role on The Walking Dead

The upcoming Fear season is shrouded in a bit of mystery. Typically the show has taken place in the past of The Walking Dead. So it's unclear how Morgan will show up and what kind of character he will be when he does appear. 

Yet fans now know when their questions will be answered. AMC has announced the premiere date for Fear the Walking Dead and it'll occur on a special time. Fear the Walking Dead season 4 will begin on Sunday, April 15 at 10/9c. After the premiere the show will start airing at 9/8c. Lennie James, as Morgan, will first appear in the season premiere. 

In the new season "we will see the world of Madison Clark and her family through new eyes -- the eyes of Morgan Jones, joining the story from the world of The Walking Dead. The characters' immediate past mixes with an uncertain present of struggle and discovery as they meet new friends, foes and threats."

What do you think of all the news in the world of The Walking Dead? Are you looking forward to Morgan's appearance on Fear the Walking Dead? How do you feel about Carl's death? Are you worried about a new showrunner being given the reigns yet again? 

The Walking Dead season 8 returns Sunday, February 25 at 9/8c on AMC. Fear the Walking Dead will return on Sunday, April 15 at 10/9c. Want more news? Like our Walking Dead Facebook page

(Image courtesy of AMC)