Although not as highly rated as parent series The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead has been consistently among cable’s highest programs over its first two seasons. Unfortunately, the spin-off series has seen its ratings fall dramatically to around 3 million overnight viewers since it premiered with over 10 million overnight viewers back in 2015.
Much of the problem with Fear is that it has not only failed to distinguish itself from The Walking Dead, but there haven’t yet been any break-out characters on the series, and while the storytelling has improved, the series on its best days isn’t as good as The Walking Dead on its worse.
Much of that has to do with the choices that have been made in the writer’s room, like spending half a season on a boat, and it’s become increasingly clear that a new approach and a fresh perspective is needed. I have been advocating for the promotion of The Walking Dead writer Angela Kang since the first season of Fear the Walking Dead, but it looks like they have instead decided to go outside of The Walking Dead family.
News from AMC today is that not only has Fear the Walking Dead been renewed for a fourth season (before the third season has even aired), but that the show will get two new showrunners, Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg. Both Chambliss and Golberg move over from ABC’s Once Upon a Time, where they have served as writers and executive producers since the first season. Prior to that, Chambliss wrote for The Vampire Diaries, Dollhouse and Spartacus: Blood and Sand, while Goldberg worked previously on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Flashforward, and Criminal Minds. Clearly, the two have plenty of genre experience, but at this point, I think the most important thing for the series is a new set of eyes. Meanwhile, The Walking Dead showrunner, Scott Gimple, will also take on an executive producer role on Fear the Walking Dead.
Dave Erickson — who ran the show for the first two seasons — will be “transitioning” off the series at the end of season three to develop new projects for AMC.
Fear the Walking Dead will return with its third season beginning on June 4th. It is expected to bet set on the Mexican-American border. Dayton Callie (Sons of Anarchy) will be joining the cast along with Daniel Sharman (Teen Wolf), Sam Underwood (The Following) and Lisandra Tena (Chicago P.D.).