SAN DIEGO, Ca. - AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” despite a creative resurgence in season 9 under the watchful eye of new showrunner Angela Kang, couldn’t stanch the ratings bleed.
Overnight ratings by the end of season 9 had fallen about 35% year over year and had plummeted by two-thirds from just four years earlier. Even with on-demand viewing making up for some of that loss, the drop in interest remains alarming.
But the show lives on, and the hope is that the remaining fans stick around for season 11, as the Whisperers are now a living reality for the communities shaken by so many vicious deaths. The show returns Oct. 6.
Comic-Con provided a flood of news Friday, including the release of a four-minute trailer for the drama.
“We are always watching,” Samantha Morton’s character, Alpha, says in the trailer that was revealed at Comic-Con.
“Fear is dangerous,” Michonne says. “It could drive us apart again.”
Negan, who was freed from prison to join in the fight, says: “If you don’t protect what belongs to you, sooner or later it belongs to someone else.”
Daryl says, “Sometimes I think we just survive one fight to the next.”
There is bonding between Daryl and Carol and (gasp!) a kiss between King Ezekiel and Michonne. Carol also appears to be facing off directly with Alpha.
The trailer ends with Daryl calling Carol his best friend and Carol joking, “Should we have matching bracelets now?”
During Comic-Con, it was also confirmed that Danai Guirera (Michonne) was leaving the show season 10, news that has been floating around for months.
“This has been one of the purest joys of my life to play this role and to be among these people and those that aren’t here and you,” Guirera told Comic-Con fans. “I’m thankful in ways I can’t express. My heart does not leave in any shape or form. The TWD family is forever. It was a very difficult decision. It’s not connected to my heart, it was about my calling in a sense and other things I feel called to. I’m filled with a lot of pain and gratitude. I love you guys. I love this show. Thank you so much.”
“American Beauty” star Thora Birch was also named a new cast member. Gamma is a Whisperer sentry fiercely protective of Alpha. She is a believer and committed to the Whisperers’ way of life.
A lesser-known actor, Kevin Carroll (“Snowfall”), will play Virgil, a highly intelligent and resourceful man who is desperately trying to get home to his family.
“Fear the Walking Dead” gets a sixth season and a second “Walking Dead” spinoff appears to have finished major casting.
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