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January 13, 2018

‘Walking Dead’ Renewed For Ninth Season; Scott M. Gimple Out As Showrunner

There is going to be more of the same with The Walking Dead,  a big change and potentially more of the zombie apocalypse.

Unsurprisingly, blockbuster TWD has been renewed for a ninth season by AMC but the series based on Robert Kirkman’s comics will have a new showrunner. Long time TWD writer Angela Kang is taking over from Scott M. Gimple with the latter shifted over to a newly designated Chief Content Officer of the mothershow, its Fear The Walking Dead spinoff and as yet unspecified “potential brand extensions on a variety of platforms.”

“This is an enormously important day for the entire The Walking Dead television universe,” said AMC boss Charlie Collier today. “We are proud to acknowledge Angela’s significant contribution to the series and to set a clear path forward for a ninth season under her direction. Further, with gratitude and admiration, we also recognize Scott’s broad impact on, and leadership of, the content that fuels our TWD universe,” he add of the third ex-showrunner of the series.  “Together, we will dream bigger and more broadly than ever before. I know I speak for Angela, Scott and everyone at AMC when I say thanks most of all to the fans and the many talented people who have helped AMC play Dead.”

Unlike original TWD showrunner Frank Darabont and his replacement Glen Mazzara, Gimple clearly wasn’t canned from the series, which has had further declining ratings this season so far. In fact, today’s announcement saw some seeds planted last year when Gimple was named an executive producer on FearTWD, which will see a crossover with TWD later this year.

“The Walking Dead is a special show which started in an entirely different era of TV, and continues, in this new era, to confidently take chances to tell compelling stories that excite audiences and make them deeply connect with its characters, adapting Robert Kirkman’s brilliant comic book,” the soon to be ex-TWD showrunner said in a statement on Saturday. “As the show closes in on its tenth year, I’m honored to keep working with the talented, dedicated people behind and in front of the camera to make it all it can be, while expanding the world of The Walking Dead with new narratives like Fear the Walking Dead and a whole host of truly cool stories ahead. Angela is a big part of the heart and soul of The Walking Dead, and I’m thrilled to help facilitate her vision of the show’s next era.”

Unlike Darabont and Mazzara, as well as EPs Gale Anne Hurd and others and Kirkman himself, the Gimple is not currently suing AMC over profits from the lucrative franchise. The EP has come under fire of late from some fans for the direction the series, especially the upcoming death of the Chandler Riggs portrayed Carl Grimes character that ended the Season 8 fall finale on December 10.

Also playing tribute to Kirkman, which everyone involved with TWD seems contractually bound to do, the first female showrunner of the Andrew Lincoln led series took a fangirl approach in her remarks.

“I am beyond thrilled to be stepping into this new role with The Walking Dead, declared Kang, who has been a writer on the show for the past seven years. “Working on this series and having the opportunity to adapt Robert Kirkman’s amazing comic has been a fangirl dream come true for me,” she added “I’m excited to continue working with Scott and the wonderfully supportive folks at AMC, and can’t wait to share the next chapter of the story with our fans next fall.

The ninth season of The Walking Dead is set to debut in the fall of this year with Season 8 returning from its winter break next month to see the Carl character played by Riggs, who was one of the original actors on the series, meet his end die to a walker bite.

Read more from Deadline