It's official: The Walking Dead will come to an end in 2022 after 11 seasons.
AMC announced today that the franchise's flagship series – which premiered in 2010 – will draw to a close following an epic 24-episode final season.
The first 12 instalments will air next year, followed by the final 12 in 2022.
However, as one door closes, another opens – the cable network has also ordered two new Walking Dead spin-offs, one focusing on popular characters Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) and a new anthology series expected to delve into the backstories of familiar characters.
This will leave four Walking Dead shows on air, including Fear the Walking Dead and the forthcoming The Walking Dead: World Beyond, while a series of spin-off movies featuring Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) are also in development.
The Walking Dead will next return to AMC in the US on 4th October to air the episode originally planned as its 10th season finale, delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Six bonus episodes, announced in July, will now bring season 10 due to a close in early 2021.
Season 11 will then follow in late 2021 and 2022.
"It’s been 10 years ‘gone bye;’ what lies ahead are two more to come and stories and stories to tell beyond that," said Scott Gimple, Chief Content Officer for the Walking Dead franchise. "What’s clear is that this show has been about the living, made by a passionate cast, team of writer/producers, producers, and crew, bringing to life the vision put forth by Robert Kirkman in his brilliant comic — and supported by the best fans in the world.
"We have a lot of thrilling story left to tell on TWD, and then, this end will be a beginning of more Walking Dead — brand new stories and characters, familiar faces and places, new voices, and new mythologies. This will be a grand finale that will lead to new premieres. Evolution is upon us. The Walking Dead lives."
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Angela Kang, showrunner on The Walking Dead, added: "I look forward to digging in with our brilliant writers, producers, directors, cast and crew to bring this epic final chapter of Robert Kirkman’s story to life for our fans over the next two years.
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"The Walking Dead flagship series has been my creative home for a decade and so it’s bittersweet to bring it to an end, but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol. Working with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride has been a highlight of my career and I’m thrilled that we get to keep telling stories together."
The Walking Dead airs on FOX in the UK, with the channel yet to confirm when it will air the show's remaining episodes.