Looking to go for many more years, The Walking Dead premieres its upcoming ninth season next week in Los Angeles with a full-on Hollywood screening at the Directors Guild of America. However, with a plethora of photographs of the new season dropped today also (see below), it is the Big Apple that the AMC blockbuster intends to take a bite of more immediately.
With the departure of lead Andrew Lincoln and changes behind the camera in the form of new showrunner Angela Kang, TWD will hold panels at both PaleyFest New York and New York Comic Con in early October just before the Season 9 debut. Just like at San Diego Comic-Con, those shindigs will be packed to fire marshal capacity. Even with ratings declines the past couple of years, TWD has still been the top drama on all of TV in the key 18-49 demo for the past six seasons.
As notions of potential spinoffs, more crossovers and other platforms of the show have been long teased by former showrunner and now-Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple, AMC CEO Josh Sapan made TWD‘s future slightly more concrete when he told a recent investors’ gathering that the idea is to go for another decade in some form or another. As AMC’s SVP and Co-Head of Corporate Communications noted:
“The Walking Dead universe and the apocalypse … is a subject that has an eternal quality to it, because it’s about how society organizes itself,” says AMNC’s Josh Sapan at #GSCommunacopia. “We have a plan to manage it over the next decade plus … a very careful plan.”
— Jim Maiella (@jimmaiella) September 12, 2018
All of which adds to the drama as TWD is aiming for a reset of sorts with its ninth season.
Leading into that and coming just 24 hours before the Season 9 opener on October 7 on AMC, the 8 PM ET NYCC gathering will feature Lincoln plus castmates Norman Reedus, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who plays now seemingly conquered villain Negan on the show based on Robert Kirkman’s comics.
Also in attendance at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, as in past years at the confab, will be EPs Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Dave Alpert, and Greg Nicotero, who directed the season opener. EP and COO Gimple will also be onstage at MSG, along moderator Chris Hardwick and new showrunner Kang, who penned the first episode of Season 9.
As always at both NYCC and SDCC, expect a sneak peek or two at the new season.
However, if you are going to be at PaleyFest on October 6, you’ll get much more than a peek. The 3 PM ET TWD panel at 25 West 52nd Street with most if not all of the same participants will serve as the East Coast premiere of the full first episode of Season 9.
As original cast member Lincoln exits, first reported by Deadline back in May and confirmed by the Love Actually actor at SDCC, the post-apocalypse world of TWD is very different at the beginning of Season 9, which picks up a year and bit after the big showdown between Lincoln’s Survivors and allies and Negan’s gang. Along with Lauren Cohan scaling back her participation because of her new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier, the series offered another glimpse into the new reality of things with a series of photographs unveiled today of both of the new episodes and BTS.
Take a look here: