The addition of AMC Networks’ hit zombie thriller to Netflix on Friday comes about six weeks ahead of the Oct. 22 season 8 premiere on AMC. Netflix now offers the first seven seasons of “The Walking Dead” to subscribers in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Brazil, and several other countries.
Netflix’s deal with AMC for “Walking Dead” underscores that — for all of the streamer’s push toward original programming — it still relies heavily on licensing TV hits to attract and retain subscribers. For AMC, the windowing strategy is aimed at letting fans binge-watch the previous season, so they’ll (ideally) tune in for the next one.
“The Walking Dead” season 7 finale in April was the most-watched cable TV episode of the second quarter, drawing more than 16 million viewers in delayed viewing. Even so, the show saw a drop in full-season ratings.
In the show’s seventh season, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) leads a coalition of zombie-apocalypse survivor communities in battling the sadistic, grinning warlord Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). The season was notable for the deaths of several key characters, including an exceptionally gruesome sequence in the premiere episode (spoilers).
The upcoming season of “Walking Dead” resumes the battle between Neegan’s Saviors and Rick’s Alexandria and their allies. Production of season 8 was halted temporarily this summer after a stuntman died on set.
AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” based on the comic book series by Robert Kirkman, is executive produced by showrunner Scott M. Gimple, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero and Tom Luse.