SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead.
UPDATE, 8:30 PM: “It proves this world can take the story of the good guy winning sometimes,” The Walking Dead’s Steven Yeun told Talking Dead tonight of the reaction of the seemingly apparent death of his Glenn Rhee character on October 25’s show. As fans of the AMC series learned tonight on the penultimate episode of 2015, Yeun’s Glenn is not dead.
Live via satellite from TWD’s shooting location in Atlanta, Yeun was joined on TWD’s aftershow by EP Scott Gimple along with fellow EP Gale Anne Hurd and Dr. Ken star Ken Jeong in the L.A. studio of Talking Dead. “He’s alive, Glenn’s made it out alive, it wasn’t pretty” announced host Chris Hardwick to audience cheers at the top of the aftershow.
“It was important to do a story this year about uncertainty, and that the audience would share that uncertainty that the characters had,” Gimple added Sunday of the motivation to have the Glenn character perhaps die – which he does in the Robert Kirkman comic series the TV series is based on. Gimple also joked that Jeong was joining TWD as Glenn’s brother Larry. Both Yeun and Gimple told Hardwick that the collective experience of millions of TWD fans pondering Glenn’s fate was something they really enjoyed in a world often lacking TV water cooler moments.
“I feel relieved, I feel very grateful, I feel so amazed at the response,” Yeun also told Hardwick tonight of the mystery being over for now and the fan response. “I feel bad that I couldn’t say anything to everyone, family, friends. I’m pretty sure I lost some friends along the way. It’s kind of been overwhelming,” he said with a laugh.
“People on the show all have to sign NDAs, Non Disclosure Agreements, but in this case we literally said, do you talk in your sleep and if someone said yes we offered them some duct tape so they could duct tape their months and not spoil it,” half joked Hurd on how the series kept the secret of Glenn’s fate. Of course, with Yeun seen on set for the final episodes of the current sixth season, the actor’s name taken out of the opening credits but not replaced and no mention in the on-going in memoriam of TWD.
“I have not been out much, I frequent a lot of take-out,” The Walking Dead actor told fans, “my apartment looks like a hoarder’s house.” Which is what a lot of the sets on TWD look like so the under lock and key actor must have felt at home at home.
(2nd UPDATE, 8:41PM: After a silence of several weeks, the usually frequent Twitter account of Steven Yeun came back to life as his Gleen Rhee’s character’s fate did.
A much delayed thank you for all the Glenn love. big love to you all. 🖖🏻✌🏻️🖖🏻✌🏻🖖🏻✌🏻🖖🏻✌🏻🖖🏻
— steven yeun (@steveyeun) November 23, 2015
PREVIOUS, 7:15 PM: “The Walking Dead has the best fans in the world and I’m happy to be back,”said Steven Yeun tonight of the return of his The Walking Dead character in a much promoted appearance in the first commercial break of freshman Into The Badlands. With the teased out fate of the actor’s Glenn Rhee character revealed after several weeks during the opening of tonight’s second-to-last episode of the year, Yeun also told fans that “I’ve been following everything you’ve been saying and it’s meant so much to me to see all of your support and concern for Glenn.”
This won’t be the last time tonight that Yeun speaks out after weeks of silence on his character. Yeun will be appearing on Sunday’s TWD aftershow Talking Dead at 11 PM ET along with EPs Gale Anne Hurd and Scott Gimple and Dr. Ken star Ken Jeong. While long time cast member Yeun has been missing from TWD’s credits for the past 3-weeks, Gimple revealed to fans on October 25 that “some version of Glenn” would be back after his apparent death that night. The fact that Yeun had been spotted on set for episodes in the latter part of the now wrapped Season 6 also fueled speculation that his character wasn’t gone for good – despite the fact that in the comics he does die. With Walkers inside the safe-zone of Alexandria now, TWD ends its 2015 run with a winter finale on November 29. If past such endings are any indication, that “Start To Finish” episode won’t pass without someone dying or a big cliffhanger. The Walking Dead returns from its winter break on February 14, 2016.
— The Walking Dead AMC (@WalkingDead_AMC) November 23, 2015
If the fate of Yeun’s character has been seen a bump in TWD ratings, Into The Badlands has been a clear beneficiary of the #IsGlennAlive drama. The post-apocalyptic martial arts series debuted last week to the fourth best premiere in cable history in Live + Same Day results – no doubt held by its position right after the blockbuster zombie apocalypse show and also by a sneak peek at tonight’s episode deep in its first half hour. In a commercial break early in tonight’s TWD and online, AMC shilled that Yeun would be making a statement during the opening ad break of tonight’s ITB, drawing millions of fans of the series based on Robert Kirkman’s comics like …well walkers to the living.