In a surprise less shocking than anything the show delivers on a weekly basis, AMC announced Tuesday (October 29) that "The Walking Dead" would be renewed for a fifth season. Slightly more surprising, at least pleasantly so, was the joint announcement that Scott Gimple would also return as the series' showrunner for season five.
From the press release:
"We are very happy to make what has to be one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever: 'The Walking Dead' is renewed for a fifth season," said Charlie Collier, AMC president. "This is a show that has erased traditional distinctions between cable and broadcast. Its expanding base of passionate fans has grown every season, most recently — and most notably — with the season four premiere earlier this month, which broke viewership records for the series and became the biggest non-sports telecast in cable history. On behalf of the incredible team on both sides of the camera, thank you to the fans and here's to more Dead."
So yes, "The Walking Dead" is extremely popular, and as long as it continues to hold onto its massive ratings for the rest of this increasingly promising new season, there's no reason to think things won't continue to look up in 2014.
The better news, as mentioned, is that Gimple will be returning to the show. "Walking Dead," despite its ratings success, has been less successful at holding on to showrunners. The series was co-created by Frank Darabont, who hung out for the six-episode season one; followed by about half of season two before unceremoniously leaving. He was replaced by "The Shield's" Glen Mazzara, who himself left halfway through season three.
Gimple, who had written some of the show's most critically acclaimed episodes, replaced Mazzara as showrunner starting with the current fourth season of the show. As long as he can hold out for a few more months, we should be in for a record-breaking run for Gimple.
The current half season of "The Walking Dead" runs until December 1, before picking up for eight more episodes starting in February, 2014 on AMC.