Despite declining ratings, The Walking Dead is still the most-watched show on cable, and it’s not even close. “For the year, The Walking Dead chalked up a 5.3 rating among 18-49 year olds,” as we reported, while “the second highest-rated show on cable, American Horror Story, had nearly half the viewers, as it came in with a 2.6 rating.” So, between the envious ratings, Andrew Lincoln’s spin-off movies, and a creative resurgence under new showrunner Angela Kang, it’s no wonder that AMC renewed the series for season 10 on Monday.
There’s one minor complication, though. Unlike her co-stars Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Melissa McBride (Carol), who were given “franchise/universe” deals, Danai Gurira (Michonne) has yet to sign a new contract. She’s currently in “prolonged negotiations with AMC that were further complicated by her status as a breakout actress with hits under her belt including Black Panther.” In other words, Gurira was in the two biggest movies of 2018 — Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War — and she expects (and deserves) a hefty pay-raise:
Sources say Reedus will make $350,000 per episode on top of additional guarantees and advances in a deal that sources say could be worth anywhere from $50 million to $90 million. McBride’s deal, which is said to include a sizable pay bump, will see the actress score an estimated $20 million over three years… It’s unclear if [Gurira] has signed a new deal to return.
“She has been very vocal about saying that she loves the show. We love Danai; we love that character. Right now, she’s got a lot of opportunities and she needs to weigh what she feels is best for her. But we certainly would want her on the show as long as she wants to be on it,” said AMC programming president David Madden about Gurira’s status. “We really want her to stay. She is an incredibly valuable character and I’m really hoping she stays. Obviously, the lesson of [Andrew Lincoln] is that the show can survive anybody’s departure if need be, but that’s not our goal. The goal is to have Danai continue on whatever basis she can make work, given the other things that she has going on in her life.”
The Walking Dead needs Gurira (or, Michonne) more than Gurira needs The Walking Dead, especially with the departures of Lincoln and Lauren Cohan, so the negotiations between the network and actress are worth following. Stay tuned.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)