To the surprise of no one, AMC announced Tuesday that The Walking Dead has been renewed for a third season, presumably to begin sometime around Halloween of 2012 as the first two seasons have.
Despite the behind-the-scenes drama that resulted in the replacement of original showrunner Frank Darabont, and grumbling from some fans who want to see more gore every week (the most recent episode saw only one zombie dispatching), The Walking Dead has gained ratings momentum since its debut in October 2010, when it instantly became AMC’s highest rated series ever. “We are so proud as it continues to set viewership records around the world,” said AMC president Charlie Collier in a statement announcing the renewal.
The Walking Dead is based on a popular comic, and numerous storylines from the comic have yet to even be touched upon, so finding new inspiration for another season shouldn’t be any problem for the producers. A bigger issue might be balancing the desires of those in the audience who are in it for the blood and guts, and those who want to see a stronger emphasis on character, similar to AMC’s boutique shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
The current season of The Walking Dead will pause during the low-viewership months of December and January, but will resume on February 12.