Though the ratings for The Walking Dead aren’t what they once were, relative to almost everything else on cable, the series continues to put up impressive numbers even as it heads toward its final season. That final season will begin with the first eight of 24 episodes in August, and the series will come to a conclusion in late 2022. Beyond that, there’s Fear the Walking Dead, a Daryl and Carol spin-off in the works, and a The Walking Dead anthology series.
AMC is possibly also mulling a Negan spin-off, based on questions that AMC asked its viewers in a survey after Negan’s origin story, “Here’s Negan,” aired as the Season 10 finale of TWD. The survey asked viewers if they’d be more interested in a “limited series, an ongoing series, or additional episodes highlighting Negan’s backstory,” according to Comicbook.com.
Honestly, however, a Negan spin-off might be a bridge too far. I think Negan is great, and I think that Jeffrey Dean Morgan may be my favorite actor on the entire series, but if AMC is going to spin-off Negan, why even cancel The Walking Dead if three of its four biggest stars are getting their own spin-offs (the other being Lauren Cohan’s Maggie)? You can’t just give everyone their own spin-off, although if there has to be another one, TWD should go the same route as Breaking Bad by spinning off a more minor character whose story hasn’t already been exhausted by the series. Someone like, say, Jerry.
On the other hand, it feels like Negan’s story has mostly been told, and while Jeffrey Dean Morgan admits that he might entertain the idea, there’s not a lot left to tell. We’ve seen Negan go from devoted husband to supervillain and back to a good guy again.
In fact, there’s only one story left to tell when it comes to Negan: his death. If that isn’t told on the parent series, that could make for a decent limited series, but only if AMC takes it in a certain direction, because only one direction makes sense. They have to make it a Logan-style Western, where Negan kicks a lot of bad guy ass but ultimately sacrifices himself to save someone else, probably a kid (because Negan has always had a soft spot for kids). In fact, if he somehow sacrifices himself to save Judith Grimes or Hershel Rhee, it would be all the better, because it would allow him to fully redeem the himself once and for all. He probably needs a partner, too, and if we were to choose someone from the existing cast, Eugene would probably be the most well suited to the role of sidekick/comic relief.
Anything else might be too much, but a limited series devoted to a proper send-off would absolutely work. In fact, AMC should make this happen.