A sitcom taking place within the existing Walking Dead universe is apparently not out of the question, as chief content officer Scott M. Gimple says there have actually been serious discussions with AMC about developing a "full comedic" spin-off. Created by Robert Kirkman as a comic book series and later adapted for television by Frank Darabont, The Walking Dead has always been known as a horror franchise.
Both in print and on the small screen, the franchise has featured some incredibly disturbing moments and rather violent deaths. Perhaps seeking to take a look at the series through another lens, Scott Gimple responded to the question of whether he'd develop a Walking Dead comedy series by saying, "Challenge accepted." He then added:
"There's a few things that we're working on now that I'm very excited about. There are characters in this universe who are used to this world, that can have a lighter take... You can have your Black Panther and your Guardians of the Galaxy. And really, I mean, we've talked about full comedic stuff. Like even more than lighter."
To be clear, Gimple says he wouldn't be interested in violating the lore of the show's zombies. This means the walkers will always be presented as the dangerous threat that they are, and we shouldn't expect to see any "singing and dancing dead people." Any potential comedy series would still be set in the same universe, with Gimple suggesting the lighter tone would be achieved by following one of the more comedic characters of the series - like Eugene. Even so, Gimple says they have also seriously discussed developing a musical episode to fit somewhere into the franchise. "We are actually trying to work on one," Gimple clearly states about the concept.
It's not surprising to see so many different concepts being thrown around at AMC for more Walking Dead content. The network recently renewed the main series for its eleventh season which will also bring back fan favorite Lauren Cohan as Maggie. The trailer for the second spin-off has also been revealed, which will be set many years after the start of the outbreak with an entirely new set of characters. The franchise will also be heading to the big screen as well in a series of Walking Dead movies starring Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes. It's clear AMC is getting as much mileage as they possibly can from the franchise, so discussing new directions to veer into makes sense from a business standpoint.
While the network is staying optimistic, the fact also remains that the franchise is just not as popular as it once was with its best years behind it. The comic book series came to an official end this year after 16 years in publication. Ratings for The Walking Dead have also been on a steady decline for multiple seasons, with the latest season premiere drawing the lowest number the show has seen yet. Although the ratings are still high enough to keep the show on television, the end of the franchise might be sooner than AMC is hoping for if the numbers continue to drop to the degree that they are.
For now, The Walking Dead still has its place on television. You can watch new episodes when they premiere Sunday nights on AMC. Gimple's words about a possible comedy spin-off of the show come to us from The Hollywood Reporter.