“The Walking Dead” is shaking things up behind the scenes.
Series showrunner Scott Gimple is being elevated to the newly created role of chief content officer, overseeing the entire “Walking Dead” television universe, including “The Walking Dead,” “Fear the Walking Dead,” and potential brand extensions on a variety of platforms. Angela Kang, who has been a writer on the show since 2011 and co-executive producer since 2013, is being promoted by Gimple to executive producer and showrunner of “The Walking Dead,” starting with Season 9.
In addition, AMC also announced that the show has officially been renewed for a ninth season, to debut in late 2018.
“This is an enormously important day for the entire ‘The Walking Dead’ television universe,” said Charlie Collier, president of AMC, Sundance TV, and AMC Studios. “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. 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.’”
Gimple was “The Walking Dead’s” third showrunner after Frank Darabont and Glen Mazzara. He has been with the show since Season 2, signing on as a writer and producer and later supervising producer. He was promoted to executive producer and showrunner going into the show’s fourth season, taking over from Mazzara. During his time at the helm, Gimple has presided over the highest-rated episodes in the show’s history. He became an executive producer on “Fear the Walking Dead” when the show was renewed for its fourth season.
“‘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,” Gimple said. “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.”
Kang first joined the show as a writer in Season 2, being upped to producer at the beginning of Season 3. She was promoted to co-executive producer at the outset of Season 5. Among the episodes of the show she has written is the Season 2 episode “Judge, Jury, Executioner,” the Season 4 episode “Still,” and the Season 7 episode “The Cell.” She also co-wrote the Season 4 finale with Gimple.
“I am beyond thrilled to be stepping into this new role with ‘The Walking Dead’” Kang said. “Working on this series and having the opportunity to adapt Robert Kirkman’s amazing comic has been a fangirl dream come true for me,” said Kang. “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 move comes after “The Walking Dead” has seen significant declines in the ratings over Season 7 and 8, while still remaining the number one show on TV in adults 18-49. Fans have also been venting their frustrations with Gimple for some time, most notably for the decision to end Season 6 with a cliffhanger that teased the death of a major character.