The Walking Dead isn’t just the most popular show on AMC, it’s the most popular show on all of television by a long shot, crushing the 12 million viewers of second place Game of Thrones with its mighty 25 million viewers per episode. So it’s not surprising AMC wants the show to go on for a very long time.
At the annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference, AMC Network President and CEO Josh Sapan revealed just how long that ‘long’ could be, and he used Star Trek as the model he’s hoping the network can use.
“[Star Trek] came and went three times,” Sapan said, via The Wrap. “We do think that we have a franchise [in The Walking Dead] that is one of the rare franchises that you occasionally come across in what we do for a living.”
Sapan declared that The Walking Dead has “an incredibly long life left in it” and will continue for “many, many more years” with more spin-off shows, specials, movies, and who knows what else.
The Star Trek model isn’t bad to convey the idea of a franchise that could last for 50 years, but let’s not ignore the problems that particular franchise has had over the decades with low ratings and an inability to escape its niche of core science fiction fans. AMC is already learning the hard way that spin-offs aren’t just magically successful because the original brand was. Fear the Walking Dead has already dropped from 6 million viewers at the end of season one to 3.5 million nearing the end of season two. Still a decent number for the network, but 1/10th the success of its flagship show, which is troubling.
But as Star Trek has also taught us, we’re always just a creative re-imagining away from another compelling and successful burst of new Trek content. With an infinite number of tales from around the world that could be told about Robert Kirkman’s zombie apocalypse, there really could be decades of Walking Dead content in store for us.
(Via The Wrap)