The Walking Dead may not be the ratings monster that it once was. Be that as it may, AMC still thinks highly of the zombie-centric franchise and the various shows are among the most-watched on cable. As such, AMC's Chief Operating Officer Ed Carroll wasn't shy about making a lofty comparison to Game of Thrones recently. That, in turn, could lead to a major streaming deal down the line.
AMC recently reported its third-quarter earnings. Naturally, The Walking Dead was the subject of much discussion. At one point, Ed Carroll was discussing the franchise's appeal and likened it to monster HBO hits Game of Thrones and The Sopranos. Here's what he had to say about it.
"With a show like Walking Dead, I'd put it in a rare league like Game of Thrones and Sopranos. There are always new people aging into that demo. So, there will always be people who want to see that show. So, if we have that show and we decide to use it on our platforms or license it around the world or share a license domestically, we have the option to do that."
Like many companies, AMC has been emphasizing streaming as of late with AMC+. The company also owns the horror-themed Shudder. Currently, The Walking Dead streams on Netflix, while Fear the Walking Dead debuts on Hulu. But once those streaming deals expire in a few years, that could change. Ed Carroll explained that they will have more than 200 hours of programming within the Walking Dead universe, which could prove hugely appealing to a streaming service.
"So, several years after we stop making and delivering new episodes of The Walking Dead, all the rights revert back to us from Netflix. And so, that will be over 170 zombie hours, and then if you combine that with Fear, Fear The Walking Dead, which comes off Hulu a few years after we stop making and delivering it, we'll have well over 225 hours. And it's important because we will then have the freedom to use them on our platforms to continue to either share licenses domestically or continue to aggressively license them internationally."
There is a scenario in which The Walking Dead, as well as spin-offs Fear the Walking Dead and World Beyond, as well as the spin-off centered on Carol and Daryl and the planned anthology series, streaming exclusively on Shudder or AMC+. The company could also shop the whole package around to fetch a possible king's ransom. With Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock and others on the market, that would surely be appealing, for the right price. Even if that GoT comparison is a bit lofty.
The Walking Dead season 11 will conclude the main series in 2022. The Walking Dead: World Beyond which is airing its first season, will be a two-season limited series. The Daryl/Carol spin-off and Tales of the Walking Dead are both expected in 2023. Beyond those shows, the network also has plans for a trilogy of movies that will bring back Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.