‘The Walking Dead’ Just Bumped Four Characters Up To Series Regulars For Next Season

With walkers and Saviors putting a dent in the number of regular cast members on The Walking Dead, it shouldn’t be surprising that the show would promote a number of past actors up to ‘series regulars.’ According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Tom Payne, Austin Amelio and Xander Berkeley now get that distinction, rounding the full-time cast out for season seven at 20.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan needs no introduction, but we’ll give him one anyways: he plays Negan, the skull smashing leader of the Saviors. Tom Payne plays Jesus, a member of the Hilltop community who is exposing Rick’s people to the larger world around them. Austin Amelio is Dwight, the scarred lieutenant from the Saviors who shot Daryl at the end of season six. And Xander Berkeley plays Gregory, the windbag of a leader that currently controls things at the Hilltop.

Not everyone gets to be a ‘series regular’ … for example, Carl’s closet-bound love interest Enid (Katelyn Nacon) is still classified as a recurring character. And while we’re sure there’s all sorts of perks for the actors that earn this distinction, don’t consider it a sign that they’ll live through the upcoming season. That list of 20 series regulars is set to shrink immediately in episode one as Negan’s victim(s) are revealed.

But before they die, you can expect to see more of Jesus, Dwight, Gregory, and unfortunately … Negan. The Walking Dead returns Sunday October 9 on AMC.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)