As testaments and condolences continue to pour in from the producers, cast and fans of The Walking Dead over the death of Scott Wilson, AMC tonight aired a tribute to the actor, who passed away yesterday at the age of 76.
The simple and powerful portrait of the beloved actor and the words “In Memory of Scott Wilson” came right at the end of TWD’s Season 9 premiere “A New Beginning.” Another way of looking at it is the acknowledgement of the In Cold Blood alum came just before the Talking Dead after show.
There was no mention of Wilson tonight on Talking Dead but not because the show was trying to avoid dampening debut enthusiasm. Tonight’s episode was actually filmed last week when the cast were in L.A. for a premiere at the DGA, as host Chris Hardwick pointed out online last night soon after news of Wilson’s death became known – a fact reiterated by the show itself:
Tonight’s episode of #TalkingDead and the Season 9 #TWD pre-show were recorded at an earlier date, before the unfortunate passing of Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene on #TWD). Our hearts go out to Scott’s family, friends, cast-mates, and fans. pic.twitter.com/KOB3HlWCs8
— Talking Dead (@AMCTalkingDead) October 8, 2018
Clearly filmed, edited and locked long before the sudden death of Wilson, tonight’s TWD Season 9 opener did mention Hershel, sort of. The eldest daughter of the thoughtful and religious ex-veterinarian, the Lauren Cohan played Maggie Greene now Maggie Rhee by marriage has called her infant son Hershel after her on-screen father.
As was announced on October 6 at TWD’s New York Comic Con panel, Wilson would be among a trio of ex-cast mates appearing on the final episodes featuring Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. Killed off by David Morrissey’s Governor character in the eight episode of TWD’s fourth season in 2013, Wilson’s Greene would likely be part of a flashback of some sort connected to Lincoln’s exit from the show. Sources confirmed to Deadline last night that Wilson’s return had already been filmed and the intention is still to air them later in the season as planned.
TWD showrunner Angela Kang, who revealed Wilson’s return at the Madison Square Garden held panel, Lincoln, other cast members and EPs had no idea while on stage that Bosch and The OA actor Wilson had died, we hear.
Later the likes of Norman Reedus and EP Gale Anne Hurd held nothing back in expressing their loss and love of the man:
— Gale Anne Hurd (@GunnerGale) October 7, 2018
No word yet when Wilson’s TWD Season 9 appearance or appearances will actually be seen on the small screen, but we know it will be before next spring.