Just one week before The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere debuts, AMC has issued an early renewal for Season 8. The network has also renewed the hit after-show Talking Dead, starring host Chris Hardwick. Here's what AMC Studios president Charlie Collier had to say in a statement, borrowing a key catch phrase from the show's new villain, Negan.
"Eeny, meeny, miny, more. What a joy to partner with Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple and some of the hardest-working people in television to bring The Walking Dead to the fans. And, most important, thanks to those fans for breathing life into this remarkable series right along with us."
AMC announced that the show would return with another 16-episode season, along with a new 16-episode season for Talking Dead. The network's announcement also revealed that the Season 8 premiere will be the show's 100th episode, debuting in "late 2017." Each season of The Walking Dead has coincided with the network's FearFest programming in October, so the show will most likely return for Season 8 roughly one year from now.
Up until this point, our characters have lived through conflicts... Disease, hunger, scores of the undead, tragedy, betrayal, and unthinkable loss. Through this, they've become formidable. Powerful. Unstoppable. To start The Walking Dead Season 7, that power is taken away. They had found safety and stability. They had created a home. They thought the world was theirs. They thought they knew the world. They were wrong. The first half of Season 7 sees our group fractured, broken, bereaved, and picking up the pieces while living under the thumb of oppression.
Negan will have successfully brought the survivors under his control, brutally convincing them to live under his rules with a deadly and horrific example of what happens if they don't. Other characters are unaware of what's happened, but have become separated from the group either by incident or choice - they will learn that they can't escape this new turn of their world, either. This half-season is about these characters starting over. The overall theme of the season is beginning again. The world isn't what they thought it was. It's bigger and it's even more dangerous.
AMC also recently announced that The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere will be followed by a special 90-minute edition of Talking Dead. The show will feature executive producers Scott M. Gimple and Robert Kirkman, along with stars Andrew Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Steven Yeun, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, Michael Cudlitz, Sonequa Martin-Green, Chandler Riggs, Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Ross Marquand and Jeffery Dean Morgan. AMC is also airing an 88-hour marathon of the entire series of The Walking Dead before the Season 7 premiere.