The Walking Dead saga will continue beyond The Walking Dead’s series finale, but all the new spinoffs risk creating a franchise fatigue problem.
According to AMC President Dan McDermott, The Walking Dead franchise is focusing on how much is the “right amount” of The Walking Dead content following the end of the main show. Despite its 11-season journey, The Walking Dead’s story is not really over. Some of The Walking Dead’s most important and popular characters will return for separate spinoffs starting in 2023, and there will be at least three new stories for audiences to follow.
If The Walking Dead’s recent seasons were already being criticized for the slower pacing and divisive story decisions, continuing the franchise beyond the main show is risky. Even so, The Walking Dead’s popularity never faded away completely, especially towards beloved Walking Dead characters like Rick, Michonne, and Daryl. That being said, three Walking Dead new stories may be too much for audiences, as this risks overheating the franchise with content overload.
The Walking Dead’s Spinoffs Risk Franchise Fatigue
While The Walking Dead is no stranger to spinoffs, the fact that The Walking Dead’s finale is leading to three new shows risks franchise fatigue. The Walking Dead will be followed by three spinoffs, all of which will have their own separated narratives and set of characters. Instead of an actual finale, The Walking Dead’s ending was closer to a backdoor pilot for all spinoffs that will premiere in the upcoming years. Given that The Walking Dead itself was already struggling with repetition and post-apocalyptic genre fatigue, continuing that world with three new shows is risky – no matter how iconic characters like Rick, Michonne, Daryl, Maggie, and Negan are to The Walking Dead franchise.
One of The Walking Dead’s biggest problems was how it went on for multiple seasons with 16 episodes or more each, despite not having that many major events to cover. The slow pacing, especially after Negan’s introduction and Glenn’s death, caused the show to lose much of its momentum – which makes the three new The Walking Dead spinoffs even riskier. Granted, The Walking Dead ending leaves room for new stories to start from scratch, plus there will be less Walking Dead content airing compared to when The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and World Beyond were all airing concurrently. However, that alone doesn’t mean franchise fatigue will be avoided.
How Many Hours Of Walking Dead Content Could Air In 2023
Dead City, a Walking Dead spinoff following Maggie and Negan, and The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon will both premiere in 2023. Fear the Walking Dead will also air its eighth and final season in 2023. The Rick and Michonne spinoff, on the other hand, is expected to premiere only in 2024. Given that Dead City and Daryl Dixon will both have six episodes, and that Fear the Walking Dead season 8 will have 12 episodes, the Walking Dead franchise will air 24 hours of content in 2023. That is lower than the 42 hours of annual content back when The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and World Beyond were airing.
Despite Fear the Walking Dead ending in 2023, 2024 could see a similar number of Walking Dead hours of content compared to 2023. If both Dead City and Daryl Dixon return for second seasons in 2024, in addition to the possibility of a Tales of the Walking Dead season 2, 2024 might also have 24 hours of The Walking Dead content, given that the Rick and Michonne spinoff series is expected to have six episodes. As such, in terms of numbers only, The Walking Dead franchise is indeed reducing its presence on TV compared to the first time it had two or more shows airing concurrently.