In spite of the fact that The Walking Dead is known for killing off its main cast members with abandon, the series main cast continues to grow. Last season’s cast had 17 series regulars, and while it saw the death of several players, it’s adding three more series regulars to its ranks, bringing the total to a series high of 18.
All three additions are citizens of Alexandria, but only one may seem like a surprise. The first two are obvious: Tovah Feldshuh (Deanna Monroe) and Alexandra Breckenridge (Jessie Anderson) have been upped, the latter of whom could spell trouble for Richonne fans because Jessie is seen as a potential love interest for Rick. Meanwhile, Deanna Monroe, who is based on the Douglas character in the comics, had a substantial role last season as the leader of the Alexandrians.
The other new series regular is Austin Nichols, who plays the son of Deanna Monroe, Spencer. He didn’t factor heavily into last season, except to react to the death of his brother (he also unwisely left Gabriel to close the gates to Alexandria last year, a task that Gabriel failed, leading to a minor walker invasion within the walls in the season finale).
Being added to the cast as a series regular should mean an increase in pay for each of the actors, but it certainly doesn’t ensure they’ll survive the season. Recall that Andrew J. West, who plays Gareth, was promoted to a series regular last season, but he was quickly disposed of.