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''The Walking Dead'' is an American
post-apocalyptic up Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond poster calls up the pictorial image of a bombed New York City">Liberty_bond.html" ;"title="Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond">Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond poster calls ...
horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Genres *Horror fiction, a genre of fiction **Japanese horror, Japanese horror fiction **Korean horror, Korean horror fiction *Horror film, a film genre *Horror comics, comic books focusing on h ...
television series based on the comic book series of the same name by
Robert Kirkman Robert Kirkman (; born November 30, 1978)Löchel, Ingo"The Walking Dead: Die Comic-Serie – Robert Kirkman" Zauberspiegel. Retrieved February 17, 2013. is an American comic book writer, screenwriter and television producer. He is best known ...
, Tony Moore, and
Charlie Adlard Charles Adlard is a British comic book artist known for his work on books such as ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and ''Invasion! (2000 AD), Savage''. Career Adlard began his work in the UK on ''White Death'' with Robbie Mor ...

Charlie Adlard
—together forming the core of ''The Walking Dead'' franchise. The series features a large
ensemble cast In a dramatic production, an ensemble cast is one which is composed of multiple principal actors and performers who are typically assigned roughly equal amounts of screen time.Random House: ensemble acting Linked 2013-07-17 Structure In contrast ...
as survivors of a
zombie apocalypse Zombie apocalypse is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Categor ...
trying to stay alive under near-constant threat of attacks from zombies known as "walkers" (among other nicknames). However, with the collapse of modern civilization, these survivors must confront other human survivors who have formed groups and communities with their own sets of laws and morals, sometimes leading to open, hostile conflict between them.
Andrew Lincoln Andrew James Clutterbuck (born 14 September 1973),Liberty_bond.html" ;"title="Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond">Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond poster calls ... horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and m ...

Andrew Lincoln
played the lead character of
Rick Grimes Rick Grimes is a character (arts), fictional character and the main protagonist in the Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, post-apocalyptic American comic book, comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', ''Skybou ...
until his departure in the ninth season. Other long-standing cast members have included
Norman Reedus Norman Mark Reedus (born January 6, 1969) is an American actor. He is known for starring in the popular AMC horror drama series '' The Walking Dead'' as Daryl Dixon Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from AMC (TV channel), AMC's Horror fic ...
,
Steven Yeun Steven Yeun (; ko, 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop; December 21, 1983) is a South Korean-born American actor and producer. Yeun initially rose to prominence for his roles as Glenn Rhee in the television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), ...
,
Chandler Riggs Chandler Carlton Riggs (born June 27, 1999) is an American actor and DJ, best known for his regular role as Carl Grimes Carl Grimes is a Character (arts), fictional character and is one of the main protagonists in the comic book series ''Th ...

Chandler Riggs
,
Melissa McBride Melissa Suzanne McBride (born May 23, 1965) is an American actress and former Casting (performing arts)#Casting director, casting director. McBride's breakout role was Carol Peletier on the AMC (TV channel), AMC series ''The Walking Dead (TV serie ...

Melissa McBride
,
Lauren Cohan Lauren Cohan (born ) is a British-American actress best known for her role as Maggie Greene Maggie Greene, later Maggie Rhee in the television series, is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Wa ...

Lauren Cohan
,
Danai Gurira Danai Jekesai Gurira (; born February 14, 1978) is a Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright. She is best known for her starring roles as Michonne on the AMC (TV channel), AMC horror drama series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking D ...

Danai Gurira
,
Josh McDermitt Josh McDermitt (born ) is an American film and television actor and comedian. He is best known for playing Eugene Porter Dr. Eugene Porter is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or ...
,
Christian Serratos Christian Marie Serratos MovieTome (Name at birth, born Bernardi, ; born September 21, 1990) is an American actress who plays Rosita Espinosa in AMC's ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'' TV series, based on the The Walking Dead (com ...
,
Seth Gilliam Seth Gilliam (born November 5, 1968) is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayals of Ellis Carver on ''The Wire'', Clayton Hughes on ''Oz (TV series), Oz'', Detective Daniels on ''Law & Order: Criminal Intent'' (2007–2008), Dr. Alan ...
and
Ross Marquand Roscoe Wayne Marquand (born August 22, 1981) is an American impressionist, actor, and producer. He has played Aaron (The Walking Dead), Aaron on the television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'' since 2015, Red Skull and U ...

Ross Marquand
. ''The Walking Dead'' is produced by
AMC Studios AMC Networks Inc. is an American entertainment company headquartered in 11 Penn Plaza, New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (sta ...
within the state of
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
, with most filming taking place in the large outdoor spaces of Riverwood Studios near
Senoia, Georgia Senoia () is a city located 35 minutes south of Atlanta in Coweta County, Georgia, Coweta County, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, United States. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Its population was 3,307 at the 2010 census. History The ...
. The series was initially adapted from the comic by
Frank Darabont Frank Árpád Darabont (born Ferenc Árpád Darabont, January 28, 1959) is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In his early career, he was primarily a scr ...
, who also served as the
showrunner A showrunner is the leading producer Producer or producers may refer to: Occupations *Producer (agriculture), a farm operator *Film producer, oversees the making of films *A stakeholder of economic production *Executive producer, contributes to t ...
for the first season. However, conflicts between Darabont and AMC forced his departure from the series and resulted in multiple lawsuits by Darabont and others.
Glen Mazzara Glen Mazzara (born July 6, 1967) is an American television producer and writer. He is most well known for his work on ''The Shield ''The Shield'' is an American Crime film, crime drama television series starring Michael Chiklis that premiered ...
,
Scott M. Gimple
Scott M. Gimple
, and
Angela Kang Angela Kang (born March 23, 1976) is an American television writer currently serving as showrunner on the AMC (TV channel), AMC horror drama series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead''. She will continue as showrunner for the upcomi ...
served as subsequent showrunners. The series is exclusively broadcast on cable channel AMC in the United States and internationally through the
Fox Networks Group Fox Networks Group (FNG) is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company that oversees international television assets that were Acquisition of 21st Century Fox by Disney, acquired from 21st Century Fox. It produces and distributes more than 300 ente ...
and
Disney+ Disney+ is an American Video on demand#Subscription models, subscription video on-demand Over-the-top media service, over-the-top Streaming media, streaming service owned and operated by the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, Media an ...
. The series premiered on October 31, 2010. The eleventh and final season premiered on August 22, 2021, and is expected to air until 2022. AMC have also further developed the series into related media; a spinoff series, ''
Fear the Walking Dead Fear is an intensely unpleasant emotion Emotions are psychological state A mental state is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mental condition. It is a relation that connects the agent with a pr ...
'', premiered on August 23, 2015, and is currently airing its seventh season. A second spinoff, a two-season limited series, '' The Walking Dead: World Beyond'', premiered on October 4, 2020. AMC announced plans for three films to follow Rick's story after Lincoln's departure. In 2020, two further spinoffs were announced: one focused on Reedus' and McBride's characters, and an anthology series to feature individual character backstories. Beginning with its
third season Third or 3rd may refer to: Numbers *3rd, the ordinal form of the cardinal number 3 *fraction (mathematics), , a fraction that is one of three equal parts *Second#Sexagesimal divisions of calendar time and day, ¹⁄₆₀ of a ''second'', or ¹⁄ ...
, ''The Walking Dead'' has attracted the most 18- to 49-year-old viewers of any cable or broadcast television series, though viewership has declined in later seasons. In addition, the series has been overall positively received by critics. It has been nominated for several awards, including the
Golden Globe Award The Golden Globe Awards are accolades bestowed by the 87 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) is a non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a ...
for Best Television Series – Drama and the
Writers Guild of America Award The Writers Guild of America Awards is an award for film, television, radio, and from 2008–2019, video game writing, including both fiction and non-fiction categories given by the Writers Guild of America, East and Writers Guild of America West ...
for New Series. The eleventh and final season premiered on August 22, 2021, and the series is set to conclude its run on AMC in 2022.


Series overview

''The Walking Dead'' takes place after the onset of a worldwide
zombie apocalypse Zombie apocalypse is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Categor ...
. The zombies, referred to as "walkers", shamble towards living humans and other creatures to eat them; they are attracted to noise, such as gunshots, and to different scents, e.g. humans. Although it initially seems that only humans that are bitten or scratched by walkers can turn into other walkers, it is revealed early in the series that all living humans carry the pathogen responsible for the mutation. The mutation is activated after the death of the pathogen's host, and the only way to permanently kill a walker is to damage its brain or destroy the body entirely, such as by cremating it. The series centers on sheriff's deputy
Rick Grimes Rick Grimes is a character (arts), fictional character and the main protagonist in the Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, post-apocalyptic American comic book, comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', ''Skybou ...
, who wakes up from a
coma A coma is a deep state of prolonged unconsciousness Unconsciousness is a state which occurs when the ability to maintain an consciousness, awareness of self and environment is lost. It involves a complete, or near-complete, lack of responsiv ...
. While in a coma, the world has been taken over by walkers. He becomes the leader of a group of survivors from the
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...

Atlanta
,
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia (, ; ) is a country located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is a part of the Caucasus region, bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by ...
, region as they attempt to sustain and protect themselves not only against attacks by walkers but by other groups of survivors willing to use any means necessary to stay alive.


Season 1 (2010)

When sheriff's deputy
Rick Grimes Rick Grimes is a character (arts), fictional character and the main protagonist in the Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, post-apocalyptic American comic book, comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', ''Skybou ...
of King County, Georgia, wakes from a coma, he discovers the world has been overrun by
zombie A zombie (Haitian French Haitian French (french: français haïtien, Haitian Creole: ''fransè ayisyen'') is the variety of French language, French spoken in Haiti. Haitian French is close to standard French. It should be distinguished from ...

zombie
s ("walkers"). After befriending Morgan Jones, Rick travels alone to
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...

Atlanta
before finding his wife Lori, son
CarlCarl may refer to: *Carl, Georgia, city in USA *Carl, West Virginia, an unincorporated community *Carl (name), includes info about the name, variations of the name, and a list of people with the name *Carl², a TV series * "Carl", List of Aqua Teen H ...
, and his police partner and best friend Shane Walsh in the woods with other survivors. After being attacked by walkers at night, the whole group travels back to Atlanta to the
Centers for Disease Control The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the national public health agency of the United States. It is a United States federal agency, under the Department of Health and Human Services The United States Department of Heal ...
(CDC) building, but find from the sole remaining scientist that no cure yet exists for the pandemic.


Season 2 (2011–12)

Rick's group, searching for Carol's missing daughter,
Sophia Sophia means "wisdom" in Greek language, Greek. It may refer to: *Sophia (wisdom) *Sophia (Gnosticism) *Sophia (given name) Places *Niulakita or Sophia, an island of Tuvalu *Sophia, North Carolina, an unincorporated community in Randolph County * ...
, takes shelter at a farm run by
Hershel Greene Hershel Greene is a fictional character in ''The Walking Dead (franchise), The Walking Dead'' whose role is depicted in the The Walking Dead (comic book), comic book, The Walking Dead (TV series), television series as portrayed by Scott Wilson (a ...
. Tensions with Hershel's family worsen after it is discovered that he has a barn full of walkers: former friends and family members. Rick learns that Shane and Lori were romantically involved while he was in a coma, and that Lori is pregnant. Shane and Rick's friendship deteriorates, until Rick is forced to kill Shane in self-defense. The commotion attracts walkers to the farm, forcing Rick's group and Hershel's family to evacuate.


Season 3 (2012–13)

Eight months after fleeing the farm, Rick's group—sans Andrea, but with Hershel's family—finds a remote prison, which they make their new home after clearing it of walkers. Lori is killed from an emergency C section, and Rick starts to become unhinged and hallucinate.
Andrea Andrea is a given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of pr ...
was rescued by
Michonne Michonne ( ), later revealed as Michonne Hawthorne, is a Character (arts), fictional character from ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead''. The character also appears in media adaptations of the series, most notably the The Walking ...
and the two discover Woodbury, a fortified town led by a deceitful man known as " the Governor" who seeks to destroy the group at the prison. Rick's group launches a raid that destroys Woodbury, but the Governor kills Andrea and escapes. The remaining citizens of Woodbury move into the prison.


Season 4 (2013–14)

Several months after the Governor's attack, a deadly
flu Influenza, commonly known as "the flu", is an infectious disease An infection is the invasion of an organism's body tissues by disease-causing agents, their multiplication, and the reaction of host A host is a person responsible ...

flu
kills many of the people at the prison. The Governor finds Martinez, his former right-hand man and kills him, taking over his group before leading them into the prison. Rick's group is forced to separate and flee, while Hershel and the Governor are killed. The survivors, divided, face off against the undead and make new acquaintances. They all find numerous signs pointing to a safe haven called Terminus. Group by group, they reunite at Terminus, but Rick's group, sans Carol, is captured for an unknown purpose.


Season 5 (2014–15)

The residents of Terminus have become
cannibals Cannibalism is the act of consuming another individual of the same species as food. Cannibalism is a common ecological interaction in the animal kingdom and has been recorded in more than 1,500 species In biology, a species is the basic ...
. Carol leads a charge that frees Rick's group. Some of the group are captured by a group of corrupt cops based out of Grady Memorial Hospital. After the group migrates to Virginia, a stranger named
Aaron Aaron ''′aharon'', ar, هارون, Hārūn, Ancient Greek, Greek (Septuagint): wikt:Ἀαρών, Ἀαρών; often called Aaron the priest () and once Aaron the Levite () (Exodus 4:14)., group="note" ( or ; ''’Ahărōn'', Arabic: هار ...
approaches, inviting them to join the fortified community of Alexandria, led by
Deanna Monroe Deanna Monroe is a fictional character from AMC (TV channel), AMC's television series, ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'', and was portrayed by Tovah Feldshuh. The character is an adaptation and gender-swap of Douglas Monroe (The W ...
. They quickly realize the residents are ill-prepared to do what it takes to survive. Rick becomes attracted to Jessie Anderson and discovers she has an abusive husband. Deanna signals Rick to execute the man after he kills her husband as
Morgan Morgan may refer to: People and fictional characters * Morgan (given name), including a list of people and fictional characters * Morgan le Fay, a powerful witch in Arthurian legend * Morgan (surname), a surname of Welsh origin * Morgan (singer), ...
arrives unexpectedly.


Season 6 (2015–16)

The residents of Alexandria trust Rick's group to protect the town. A group known as the Wolves use a zombie horde to attack Alexandria, and Deanna and the entire Anderson family (among others) are killed. While recovering, Alexandria learns of a community called the Hilltop. A man called Jesus invites them to trade supplies with Hilltop if they can help end the threat of the extortionist Saviors led by a man named
Negan Negan, later revealed as Negan Smith in the television series, is a fictional character In fiction Fiction is any creative workA creative work is a manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork (sculpture Sculpture is th ...
. Although Rick's group decimate one Savior outpost, they are later caught by Negan and forced to submit to him.


Season 7 (2016–17)

Negan brutally murders Glenn and
Abraham Abraham, ''Ibrāhīm''; el, Ἀβραάμ, translit=Abraám, name=, group= (originally Abram) is the common patriarch of the Abrahamic religions, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In Judaism, he is the founding father of the covenan ...
, initiating his rule over Alexandria. His actions initially lead Rick to submit, but Michonne persuades him to fight back. They encounter a community called the Scavengers and ask them for help. Carol and Morgan befriend
King Ezekiel King Ezekiel is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and the The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name, in which he is portrayed by Khary Payton. Ezekiel is th ...
, the leader of the Kingdom, while
Maggie Maggie is a common short form of the name Margaret Margaret is a female first name, derived via French (''Marguerite (given name), Marguerite'') and Latin (''Margarita'') from grc, μαργαρίτης (''margarítēs'') meaning "pearl". The ...
and Sasha rally the Hilltop. Rosita and
Eugene Eugene may refer to: People * Eugene (given name) Eugene is a common masculine given name that comes from the Greek language, Greek εὐγενής (''eugenēs''), "noble", literally "well-born", from εὖ (''eu''), "well" and γένος (''g ...
make a bullet to kill Negan. When the bullet is blocked by Lucille, Negan's baseball bat, Negan forcefully recruits Eugene as a Savior. The Saviors and turncoat Scavengers attack Alexandria but are repelled by Sasha's sacrifice and the aid of Kingdom and Hilltop soldiers.


Season 8 (2017–18)

Rick, Maggie, and Ezekiel rally their communities into war against Negan and the Saviors. Losses are heavy on both sides and many of the Kingdom's soldiers are killed. Alexandria falls to a Savior attack, and Carl is bitten by a walker. Before euthanizing himself, Carl convinces Rick to end the war and restart society anew. Negan attempts to wipe out Rick and his allies in a final battle, but Eugene thwarts his plan by sabotaging the Saviors' bullets. Rick then wounds Negan. Against Maggie's wishes, Negan is spared and imprisoned, ending the war.


Season 9 (2018–19)

Eighteen months after Negan's downfall, Rick proposes building a bridge to ease trading, but this leads to more resentment. Rick is seemingly killed when he destroys the bridge to prevent an invasion of walkers. Six years later, his absence triggers discourse between the communities, and a new walker-controlling threat named the Whisperers demand the survivors do not trespass their territory. Their leader,
Alpha Alpha (uppercase , lowercase ; grc, ἄλφα, ''álpha'', modern pronunciation ''álfa'') is the first letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A s ...
, has acquired a large horde of walkers that she will unleash if they do so. After her daughter
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...
abandons her mother's group for the Kingdom's, Alpha disowns her and massacres many residents during a fair.


Season 10 (2019–21)

Alpha begins breaking down the communities with seemingly random walker attacks and acts of sabotage. Under Carol's orders, Negan infiltrates the Whisperers and assassinates Alpha. Her right-hand man Beta takes command of the Whisperers, but he and the horde are defeated by the survivors. Eugene leads a group to West Virginia to meet a new group of survivors. Meanwhile, Michonne travels north to search for Rick after finding evidence he survived his apparent death.


Season 11 (2021)

With Alexandria needing food, Maggie leads a group to retake her old community of Meridian from a murderous gang of Afghanistan war veterans, the Reapers. Daryl is forced to join the Reapers as a mole after he discovers his former lover Leah is one of them. Leah kills and replaces her leader Pope, only to continue the fight against Maggie's group upon learning Daryl's true allegiance. Meanwhile, Eugene's group enters the Commonwealth, a massive prospering community, only to discover it has a strict class system.


Cast and characters

The list below contains those that have been credited within the series' title sequence and those who are credited as "also starring". Recurring and guest stars are listed on the individual season pages. *
Andrew Lincoln Andrew James Clutterbuck (born 14 September 1973),Liberty_bond.html" ;"title="Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond">Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond poster calls ... horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and m ...

Andrew Lincoln
as
Rick Grimes Rick Grimes is a character (arts), fictional character and the main protagonist in the Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, post-apocalyptic American comic book, comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', ''Skybou ...
: The series'
protagonist 200px, Shakespeare's ''Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.'' William Morris Hunt, oil on canvas, c. 1864 A protagonist (from grc, πρωταγωνιστής, translit=prōtagōnistḗs, lit=one who plays the first part, chief actor) is the main character ...
and a former
sheriff A sheriff is a government official, with varying duties, existing in some countries with historical ties to England where the office originated. There is an analogous although independently developed office in Iceland that is commonly translated ...

sheriff
's deputy, Rick is the leader of a group of survivors who becomes the leader of the
Alexandria Safe-Zone The Alexandria Safe Zone is a location in the Image Comics series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', as well as a location in the AMC (TV channel), AMC The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name. Comic boo ...
. (seasons 1–9) *
Jon Bernthal Jonathan Edward Bernthal (; born September 20, 1976) is an American actor. Beginning his career in the early 2000s, he came to prominence for portraying Shane Walsh (The Walking Dead), Shane Walsh on the AMC (TV channel), AMC horror series ''Th ...

Jon Bernthal
as Shane Walsh: Rick's former police partner and best friend. In the second season, he forms an intense rivalry with Rick. (seasons 1–2; special guest star seasons 3, 9) *
Sarah Wayne Callies Sarah Wayne Callies (born June 1, 1977) is an American actress. She is known for starring as Sara Tancredi in Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox's ''Prison Break'' and as Lori Grimes in AMC (TV channel), AMC's ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walk ...

Sarah Wayne Callies
as
Lori Grimes Lori Grimes is a Character (arts), fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and was portrayed by Sarah Wayne Callies in the American The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the s ...
: Rick's wife, who has an affair with Shane when she believed Rick was dead. (seasons 1–3) *
Laurie Holden Heather Laurie Holden, known professionally as just Laurie Holden, is a Canadian-American actress known for her roles as Marita Covarrubias in ''The X-Files ''The X-Files'' is an American science fiction Science fiction (sometimes sho ...
as
Andrea Andrea is a given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of pr ...
: A former
civil rights Civil and political rights are a class of rights Rights are legal Law is a system of rules created and law enforcement, enforced through social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', ...
attorney Attorney may refer to: Roles * Attorney at law, an official title of lawyers in some jurisdictions * Attorney general, the principal legal officer of (or advisor to) a government * Attorney-in-fact, a holder of a power of attorney who is (though not ...
and member of the original Atlanta group of survivors. (seasons 1–3) *
Jeffrey DeMunn Jeffrey DeMunn (born April 25, 1947) is an American stage, film and television actor known for playing Captain Esteridge in '' The Hitcher'' (1986), Sheriff Herb Geller in '' The Blob'' (1988), Andrei Chikatilo in '' Citizen X'' (1995), Harry Terw ...
as
Dale Horvath Dale Horvath is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and was portrayed by Jeffrey DeMunn in the American The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name. The characte ...
: An older member of the group who owned the
RV
RV
in which a group of survivors traveled. Often the voice of reason within the group. (seasons 1–2) *
Steven Yeun Steven Yeun (; ko, 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop; December 21, 1983) is a South Korean-born American actor and producer. Yeun initially rose to prominence for his roles as Glenn Rhee in the television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), ...
as
Glenn Rhee Glenn Rhee is a Character (arts), fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', in which he is known simply as Glenn. He was portrayed by Steven Yeun in the The Walking Dead (TV series), telev ...
: A former
pizza delivery Pizza delivery is a service in which a pizzeria Pizza (, ) is a savory Dish (food), dish of Italian cuisine, Italian origin consisting of a usually round, flattened base of Leavening agent, leavened wheat-based dough topped with tomato ...
boy who saved Rick's life. Glenn begins a relationship with Maggie Greene and later marries her. Over the course of the series, Glenn becomes an integral member of the group known for his character and resourcefulness. (seasons 1–7) *
Chandler Riggs Chandler Carlton Riggs (born June 27, 1999) is an American actor and DJ, best known for his regular role as Carl Grimes Carl Grimes is a Character (arts), fictional character and is one of the main protagonists in the comic book series ''Th ...

Chandler Riggs
as
Carl Grimes Carl Grimes is a Character (arts), fictional character and is one of the main protagonists in the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and was portrayed by Chandler Riggs in the American The Walking Dead (TV ser ...
: Rick and Lori's young son. Carl is forced to mature and learn to survive in the deadly new post-apocalyptic world. (seasons 1–8) *
Norman Reedus Norman Mark Reedus (born January 6, 1969) is an American actor. He is known for starring in the popular AMC horror drama series '' The Walking Dead'' as Daryl Dixon Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from AMC (TV channel), AMC's Horror fic ...
as
Daryl Dixon Daryl Dixon is a fictional character In fiction Fiction is any creative workA creative work is a manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork (sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three ...
: The group's primary hunter, Daryl becomes a key member of the group and Rick's trusted lieutenant. (seasons 2–11; recurring season 1) *
Melissa McBride Melissa Suzanne McBride (born May 23, 1965) is an American actress and former Casting (performing arts)#Casting director, casting director. McBride's breakout role was Carol Peletier on the AMC (TV channel), AMC series ''The Walking Dead (TV serie ...

Melissa McBride
as
Carol Peletier Carol Peletier () is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and is portrayed by Melissa McBride in the American The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name, where sh ...
: Originally a meek
housewife A housewife (also known as a homemaker) is a woman whose Job, work is running or managing her family's home—caring for her children; Grocery shopping, buying, cooking, and Food preservation, storing food for the family; buying Good (economic ...

housewife
, Carol overcomes domestic abuse to become a skilled, resourceful fighter capable of making difficult decisions. (seasons 2–11; recurring season 1) *
Lauren Cohan Lauren Cohan (born ) is a British-American actress best known for her role as Maggie Greene Maggie Greene, later Maggie Rhee in the television series, is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Wa ...

Lauren Cohan
as
Maggie Greene Maggie Greene, later Maggie Rhee in the television series, is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', portrayed by Lauren Cohan in the The Walking Dead (TV series), television adaptatio ...
: The eldest daughter of the Greene family, Maggie marries Glenn, becomes pregnant with their child and becomes the leader of the Hilltop Colony. (seasons 3–11; recurring season 2) *
Danai Gurira Danai Jekesai Gurira (; born February 14, 1978) is a Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright. She is best known for her starring roles as Michonne on the AMC (TV channel), AMC horror drama series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking D ...

Danai Gurira
as
Michonne Michonne ( ), later revealed as Michonne Hawthorne, is a Character (arts), fictional character from ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead''. The character also appears in media adaptations of the series, most notably the The Walking ...
: A fierce,
katana A is a Japanese sword A is one of several types of traditionally made sword A sword is an intended for manual cutting or thrusting. Its blade, longer than a or , is attached to a and can be straight or curved. A thrusting sword ...

katana
-wielding woman who joins Rick's group. Michonne eventually becomes Rick's romantic partner and a mother-figure to his son, Carl. (seasons 3–10) * Scott Wilson as
Hershel Greene Hershel Greene is a fictional character in ''The Walking Dead (franchise), The Walking Dead'' whose role is depicted in the The Walking Dead (comic book), comic book, The Walking Dead (TV series), television series as portrayed by Scott Wilson (a ...
: A
veterinarian A veterinarian (vet), also known as a veterinary surgeon or veterinary physician, is a medical professional who practices veterinary medicine by treating diseases, disorders, managing reproductive health and injuries in non-human animal ...
and
farmer A farmer is a person engaged in agriculture Agriculture is the science, art and practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exe ...

farmer
who maintains his faith and acts as the group's primary moral compass. Hershel is the father of Maggie and Beth Greene. (seasons 3–4; special guest star season 9; recurring season 2) *
Michael Rooker Michael Rooker (born April 6, 1955) is an American actor known for his roles as Henry in '' Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer'' (1986), Chick Gandil Charles Arnold "Chick" Gandil (January 19, 1888 – December 13, 1970) was a professional ...
as
Merle Dixon Merle Dixon is a Character (arts), fictional character from the Horror fiction, horror drama television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'', which airs on AMC (TV channel), AMC in the United States. He was created by series d ...
: The racist and volatile older brother of Daryl Dixon. In the third season, he is the right-hand man to the Governor. (season 3; guest seasons 1–2) *
David Morrissey David Mark Joseph Morrissey (born 21 June 1964) is an English actor and filmmaker. Described by the British Film Institute as "one of the most versatile English actors of his generation", he is noted for the meticulous preparation and research h ...
as Philip Blake / The Governor: The antagonistic leader of the town of Woodbury, the Governor is ruthless, paranoid, and dangerous. (seasons 3–4; special guest star season 5) *
Emily Kinney Emily Rebecca Kinney (born August 15, 1985) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She is known for her role as Beth Greene on AMC (TV channel), AMC's horror drama television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'' (2 ...
as
Beth Greene Beth Greene is a fictional character from the American Horror fiction, horror drama television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'', created by season two showrunner Glen Mazzara, and was portrayed by Emily Kinney. She is the ...
: A soft-spoken teenage girl who enjoys singing, Beth is Hershel's younger daughter and Maggie's younger half-sister. (seasons 4–5; recurring seasons 2–3) * as Tyreese Williams: Tough and compassionate, Tyreese places an emphasis on moral reasoning. He struggles to cope with the immoral nature of some of the group's survival tactics and finds it difficult to kill in defense of the group. (seasons 4–5; recurring season 3) *
Sonequa Martin-Green Sonequa Chaunté Martin-Green (; born March 21, 1985) is an American actress and producer. She is best known for her television roles as Michael Burnham Michael Burnham is the fictional protagonist on '' Star Trek: Discovery'' portrayed by Am ...
as Sasha Williams: Tyreese's fiery younger sister and a former
firefighter A firefighter is a rescuer extensively trained in firefighting, primarily to extinguish conflagration, hazardous fires that threaten life, property, and the environment as well as to rescue people and in some cases or jurisdictions also animals ...

firefighter
, Sasha is the group's
sharpshooter A sharpshooter is one who is highly proficient at firing firearms or other projectile weapons accurately. Military units composed of sharpshooters were important factors in 19th-century combat. Along with "marksman A marksman is a person who ...

sharpshooter
. After several personal losses, she suffers from
PTSD Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)Acceptable variants of this term exist; see the '' Terminology'' section in this article. is a mental disorder that one can develop after exposure to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, ...
. (seasons 4–7; special guest star season 9; recurring season 3) * Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as
Bob Stookey Bob Stookey is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and The Walking Dead (TV series), the television series of the same name, where he was portrayed by Lawrence Gilliard Jr. Created b ...
: A former army medic and recovering
alcoholic Alcoholism is, broadly, any drinking of alcohol In chemistry, alcohol is an organic compound that carries at least one hydroxyl functional group (−OH) bound to a Saturated and unsaturated compounds, saturated carbon atom. The term ...
who develops a close relationship with Sasha. (seasons 4–5) *
Michael Cudlitz Michael Cudlitz (born ) is an American actor and director, known for portraying John Cooper (Southland), John Cooper in the TNT (American TV network), TNT drama series ''Southland (TV series), Southland'' for which he won the Critics' Choice Tele ...

Michael Cudlitz
as
Abraham Ford Sgt. Abraham Ford is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and was portrayed by Michael Cudlitz in the American The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name. In b ...
: A former
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...

military
sergeant Sergeant ( ; abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; ...

sergeant
on a mission to bring Eugene to
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscape ...
to find a cure for the walker virus. (seasons 5–7; recurring season 4) *
Josh McDermitt Josh McDermitt (born ) is an American film and television actor and comedian. He is best known for playing Eugene Porter Dr. Eugene Porter is a fictional character In fiction, a character (sometimes known as a fictional character) is a person or ...
as
Eugene Porter Dr. Eugene Porter is a fictional character In , a character is a or other being in a (such as a , , , , or ). The character may be entirely fictional or based on a real-life person, in which case the distinction of a "fictional" versus "re ...
: A man who claims to know a cure for the walker virus, Eugene is cowardly and inefficient when dealing with walkers, but is very intelligent. (seasons 5–11; recurring season 4) *
Christian Serratos Christian Marie Serratos MovieTome (Name at birth, born Bernardi, ; born September 21, 1990) is an American actress who plays Rosita Espinosa in AMC's ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'' TV series, based on the The Walking Dead (com ...
as
Rosita Espinosa Rosita Espinosa is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and is portrayed by Christian Serratos in the American The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name. She acc ...
: A tough, focused, and very capable survivor, and also Abraham's girlfriend. (seasons 5–11; recurring season 4) *
Alanna Masterson Alanna Masterson (born June 27, 1988) is an American actress, known for her role as Tara Chambler in the AMC (TV channel), AMC television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead''. Early life Masterson was born in New York City, ...

Alanna Masterson
as
Tara Chambler Tara Chambler is a fictional character from the Horror fiction, horror drama television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'', which airs on AMC (TV channel), AMC in the United States and is based on the The Walking Dead (comic ...
: A former
police academy A police academy is a training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any s and or that relate to specific . Training has specific goals of improving one's , capacity, and . It forms the core of s and provides the back ...
student, Tara joins Rick's group after having initially been affiliated with the Governor. She serves as a primary supply runner. (seasons 5–9; recurring season 4) * Andrew J. West as
Gareth Sir Gareth (; Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar ...
: The
cannibalistic Cannibalism is the act of consuming another individual of the same species as food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and con ...

cannibalistic
leader of Terminus who captures and coerces Rick's group into submission before being executed by Rick. (season 5; guest season 4) *
Seth Gilliam Seth Gilliam (born November 5, 1968) is an American actor. He is best known for his portrayals of Ellis Carver on ''The Wire'', Clayton Hughes on ''Oz (TV series), Oz'', Detective Daniels on ''Law & Order: Criminal Intent'' (2007–2008), Dr. Alan ...
as Gabriel Stokes: A
priest A priest is a religious leader Clergy are formal leaders within established religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social w ...

priest
who joins Rick's group. He lacks experience with walkers and struggles with his faith in the new world. (seasons 5–11) * Lennie James as Morgan Jones: The first survivor Rick encounters in the first season. After suffering a psychological breakdown, he comes to peace with the world around him. (seasons 6–8; recurring season 5; special guest star season 3; guest season 1) * Alexandra Breckenridge as Jessie Anderson: An Alexandria resident who develops a relationship with Rick. (season 6; recurring season 5) *
Ross Marquand Roscoe Wayne Marquand (born August 22, 1981) is an American impressionist, actor, and producer. He has played Aaron (The Walking Dead), Aaron on the television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'' since 2015, Red Skull and U ...

Ross Marquand
as
Aaron Aaron ''′aharon'', ar, هارون, Hārūn, Ancient Greek, Greek (Septuagint): wikt:Ἀαρών, Ἀαρών; often called Aaron the priest () and once Aaron the Levite () (Exodus 4:14)., group="note" ( or ; ''’Ahărōn'', Arabic: هار ...
: A recruitment, recruiter who invites Rick's group to Alexandria. (seasons 6–11; recurring season 5) * Austin Nichols as Spencer Monroe: Deanna's son and a guard of Alexandria. (seasons 6–7; recurring season 5) * Tovah Feldshuh as
Deanna Monroe Deanna Monroe is a fictional character from AMC (TV channel), AMC's television series, ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'', and was portrayed by Tovah Feldshuh. The character is an adaptation and gender-swap of Douglas Monroe (The W ...
: A former Member of Congress, Congresswoman and original leader of Alexandria. (season 6; recurring season 5) * Jeffrey Dean Morgan as
Negan Negan, later revealed as Negan Smith in the television series, is a fictional character In fiction Fiction is any creative workA creative work is a manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork (sculpture Sculpture is th ...
: The totalitarian, sociopathic leader of the Saviors. (seasons 7–11; special guest star season 6) * Austin Amelio as Dwight (The Walking Dead), Dwight: A ruthless and reluctant member of the Saviors who forms an intense rivalry with Daryl. (seasons 7–8; recurring season 6) * Tom Payne (actor), Tom Payne as Paul "Jesus" Monroe, Paul "Jesus" Rovia: A scout and member of the Hilltop Colony. (seasons 7–9; recurring season 6) * Xander Berkeley as Gregory (The Walking Dead), Gregory: The selfish and treacherous leader of the Hilltop Colony. (seasons 7–9; guest season 6) * Khary Payton as King Ezekiel, Ezekiel: The "king" of a community known as the Kingdom, Ezekiel is a former zookeeper with a pet Bengal tiger called Shiva. (seasons 8–11; recurring season 7) * Steven Ogg as Simon (The Walking Dead), Simon: A high-ranking member of the Saviors serving as Negan's right-hand man. (season 8; recurring season 7; guest season 6) * Katelyn Nacon as Enid (The Walking Dead), Enid: An isolated teenager in Alexandria who forms a close bond with Carl. (seasons 8–9; recurring seasons 6–7; guest season 5) * Pollyanna McIntosh as Jadis (The Walking Dead), Jadis / Anne: The impassive, enigmatic leader of the Scavengers. (seasons 8–9; recurring season 7) * Callan McAuliffe as Alden (The Walking Dead), Alden: A former member of the Saviors who later switches his allegiance to the Hilltop. (seasons 9–11; recurring season 8) * Avi Nash as Siddiq (The Walking Dead), Siddiq: A former vagabond and doctor who is rescued by Carl and brought to Alexandria. (seasons 9–10; recurring season 8) * Samantha Morton as
Alpha Alpha (uppercase , lowercase ; grc, ἄλφα, ''álpha'', modern pronunciation ''álfa'') is the first letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A s ...
: The leader of the Whisperers, a mysterious group of survivors who wear the skins of walkers to mask their presence. (seasons 9–10) * Ryan Hurst as Beta (The Walking Dead), Beta: The second-in-command of the Whisperers and Alpha's right-hand man. (season 10; recurring season 9) * Eleanor Matsuura as Yumiko (The Walking Dead), Yumiko: Magna's girlfriend who is a proficient archery, archer and former criminal defense lawyer. (seasons 10–11; recurring season 9) * Cooper Andrews as Jerry (The Walking Dead), Jerry: A member of the Kingdom and Ezekiel's steward. (seasons 10–11; recurring seasons 7–9) * Nadia Hilker as Magna (The Walking Dead), Magna: The feisty leader of a small group of roaming survivors and Yumiko's girlfriend. (seasons 10–11; recurring season 9) * Cailey Fleming as Judith Grimes: The biological daughter of Lori and Shane who was adopted by Rick after she was born. (seasons 10–11; recurring season 9) * Cassady McClincy as
Lydia Lydia (Lydian language, Lydian: ‎𐤮𐤱𐤠𐤭𐤣𐤠, ''Śfarda''; Aramaic: ''Lydia''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age Monarchy, kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the mod ...
: Alpha's daughter and former Whisperer. (seasons 10–11; recurring season 9) * Lauren Ridloff as Connie (The Walking Dead), Connie: A Deafness, deaf member of Magna's group and Kelly's sister. (seasons 10–11; recurring season 9) * Paola Lázaro as Juanita "Princess" Sanchez: A quirky and flamboyant survivor who has suffered various traumas in her past and later joins Eugene's group. (season 11; recurring 10) * Michael James Shaw as Mercer: A resident of the Commonwealth who serves as the general of the Commonwealth military. (season 11) * Lynn Collins as Leah Shaw: A member of the Reapers and former owner of Dog who formed a loving connection with Daryl while searching for Rick after his disappearance. (season 11; guest season 10) * Josh Hamilton (actor), Josh Hamilton as Lance Hornsby: The deputy governor and director of operations to the Commonwealth. (season 11) * Margot Bingham as Stephanie Vega: A resident of the Commonwealth who communicated with Eugene over the radio. (season 11; guest season 10) * Laila Robins as Pamela Milton: The governor of the Commonwealth. (season 11)


Darabont connections

The series features several actors whom series developer
Frank Darabont Frank Árpád Darabont (born Ferenc Árpád Darabont, January 28, 1959) is an American film director, screenwriter and producer. He has been nominated for three Academy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. In his early career, he was primarily a scr ...
has worked with previously, including
Laurie Holden Heather Laurie Holden, known professionally as just Laurie Holden, is a Canadian-American actress known for her roles as Marita Covarrubias in ''The X-Files ''The X-Files'' is an American science fiction Science fiction (sometimes sho ...
(
Andrea Andrea is a given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of pr ...
),
Jeffrey DeMunn Jeffrey DeMunn (born April 25, 1947) is an American stage, film and television actor known for playing Captain Esteridge in '' The Hitcher'' (1986), Sheriff Herb Geller in '' The Blob'' (1988), Andrei Chikatilo in '' Citizen X'' (1995), Harry Terw ...
(
Dale Horvath Dale Horvath is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and was portrayed by Jeffrey DeMunn in the American The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name. The characte ...
),
Melissa McBride Melissa Suzanne McBride (born May 23, 1965) is an American actress and former Casting (performing arts)#Casting director, casting director. McBride's breakout role was Carol Peletier on the AMC (TV channel), AMC series ''The Walking Dead (TV serie ...

Melissa McBride
(
Carol Peletier Carol Peletier () is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and is portrayed by Melissa McBride in the American The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name, where sh ...
), Juan Gabriel Pareja, Juan Pareja (Morales (The Walking Dead), Morales) and Sam Witwer (the dead soldier in the tank where
Rick Grimes Rick Grimes is a character (arts), fictional character and the main protagonist in the Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, post-apocalyptic American comic book, comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', ''Skybou ...
hides in "Days Gone Bye (The Walking Dead), Days Gone Bye"). All five appeared in his 2007 film ''The Mist (film), The Mist'', along with Thomas Jane, who originally was set to star in the series as Rick Grimes when it was pitched to HBO. Jane was later in talks with Darabont to possibly guest star on the series as of fall 2010; however, with Darabont's departure, it is unknown whether the guest spot will happen or not. Holden also appeared in the 2001 film ''The Majestic (film), The Majestic'', which Darabont also directed. DeMunn has appeared in several of Darabont's films; in addition to ''The Mist'' and ''The Majestic'', he appeared in ''The Shawshank Redemption'' (1994) and ''The Green Mile (film), The Green Mile'' (1999). It was planned that Witwer (Private Jessup in Darabont's ''The Mist'') would reprise his "Days Gone Bye" role in the original conception of the series' What Lies Ahead, second season premiere and in a webisode, but both plans were discarded.


Production


Development

On January 20, 2010, AMC officially announced that it had ordered a pilot for a possible series adapted from ''The Walking Dead'' comic book series, with Frank Darabont and Gale Anne Hurd acting as executive producers and Darabont writing and directing. The entire series was pre-ordered based just on the strength of the source material, the television scripts, and Darabont's involvement. In January 2010 a review of the pilot episode's script attracted further attention. The pilot began filming in Atlanta, Georgia on May 15, 2010 after AMC had officially ordered a six-episode first season. The series's remaining episodes began filming on June 2, 2010 with Darabont serving as
showrunner A showrunner is the leading producer Producer or producers may refer to: Occupations *Producer (agriculture), a farm operator *Film producer, oversees the making of films *A stakeholder of economic production *Executive producer, contributes to t ...
. On August 31, 2010, Darabont reported that ''The Walking Dead'' had been picked up for a second season, with production to begin in February 2011. On November 8, 2010, AMC confirmed that there would be a second season consisting of 13 episodes. He would also like to include some of the "environmental elements" that take place during Volume 2 of Kirkman's book.


Crew

The first season writing staff consisted of series developer and executive producer Frank Darabont (who wrote/co-wrote four of the six episodes), executive producer Charles H. Eglee, executive producer and creator of the comic book Robert Kirkman, co-executive producer Jack LoGiudice, consulting producer Adam Fierro and
Glen Mazzara Glen Mazzara (born July 6, 1967) is an American television producer and writer. He is most well known for his work on ''The Shield ''The Shield'' is an American Crime film, crime drama television series starring Michael Chiklis that premiered ...
, all of whom contributed to one episode each. Along with Darabont, who directed the pilot episode, the remaining five were directed by Michelle MacLaren, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, Bo Johan Renck, Johan Renck, Ernest Dickerson, and Guy Ferland, respectively. On December 1, 2010, ''Deadline Hollywood'' reported that Darabont had fired his writing staff, including executive producer Charles H. Eglee, Charles "Chic" Eglee, and planned to use freelance writers for the second season. Kirkman called the announcement "premature" and clarified that Eglee left to pursue other projects when Darabont decided to stay on as showrunner, and no definitive plans had been made regarding the writing staff for the second season. On December 3, 2010, in an interview with ''Entertainment Weekly'', executive producer Gale Anne Hurd commented: "It's completely inaccurate. [In] the writers' room, there are people that have set up other projects that will be their first priority if their own series is picked up as a pilot or if it's a series. I think [Eglee] just decided that he wants to run his own show." She revealed that it would be likely for the series to return in October 2011, as Darabont and Kirkman planned on mapping out the next season early in 2011. She also confirmed that, "every one of the principal cast is signed up for multiple seasons." In July 2011, series developer and showrunner Frank Darabont was fired from his position as showrunner for the series, over unethical business practices from AMC higher-ups (see #Lawsuits, Lawsuits below). Executive producer Glen Mazzara was appointed the new showrunner in Darabont's place. New writers joined the writing staff in the second season, including co-executive producer Evan Reilly, producer Scott M. Gimple, story editor
Angela Kang Angela Kang (born March 23, 1976) is an American television writer currently serving as showrunner on the AMC (TV channel), AMC horror drama series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead''. She will continue as showrunner for the upcomi ...
, and David Leslie Johnson. New writers in the third season included producers Nichole Beattie and Sang Kyu Kim, with Frank Renzulli contributing a freelance script. After the conclusion of the third season, Glen Mazzara stepped down from his position as showrunner and executive producer for the series, per a mutual agreement between Mazzara and AMC. The press release read, "Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways." Scott M. Gimple succeeded Mazzara as showrunner for the fourth season, with new writers joining the writing staff, such as Curtis Gwinn, Channing Powell, and Matt Negrete. In January 2018, it was announced that Gimple would be promoted to the newly created position of Chief Content Officer of the entire ''Walking Dead'' franchise, and that Angela Kang would replace him as showrunner beginning with the ninth season.


Writing

The television series generally tends to follow Kirkman's comic series across major characters and plots; for instance, events of the premiere episode of the seventh season correlate to events in issue #100 of the comics. The series does not attempt to go step-by-step with the comics, and has leeway in the narrative. In particular, the series's writers, along with Kirkman, often "transfer" how a character has died in the comics to a different character in the series. For example, in the fourth season, where
Hershel Greene Hershel Greene is a fictional character in ''The Walking Dead (franchise), The Walking Dead'' whose role is depicted in the The Walking Dead (comic book), comic book, The Walking Dead (TV series), television series as portrayed by Scott Wilson (a ...
is beheaded by the Governor in the standoff with Rick's group at the prison; in the comic, Tyreese is the one who suffers this fate. Some of the television characters, like Carol, have far outlived their comic counterparts, while others that have already been killed off, like
Sophia Sophia means "wisdom" in Greek language, Greek. It may refer to: *Sophia (wisdom) *Sophia (Gnosticism) *Sophia (given name) Places *Niulakita or Sophia, an island of Tuvalu *Sophia, North Carolina, an unincorporated community in Randolph County * ...
and
Andrea Andrea is a given name A given name (also known as a first name or forename) is the part of a personal name A personal name, or full name, in onomastic Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of pr ...
, remained alive for some time in the ongoing comic series. In addition, the writers have included characters wholly novel to the series such as
Daryl Dixon Daryl Dixon is a fictional character In fiction Fiction is any creative workA creative work is a manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork (sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three ...
, which producer Gale Anne Hurd says helps to create a new dynamic for the series, and keeps the audience guessing from what had already been established in the comic series.


Casting

''The Walking Dead'' has featured a large rotating ensemble cast. In most cases, because of the nature of the show, departure of actors from the show are determined by the writing, with characters either killed off or written off the show as necessary to develop the story. Cast members are generally told ahead of time if they have been written off the show, but otherwise kept to secrecy. For example,
Steven Yeun Steven Yeun (; ko, 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop; December 21, 1983) is a South Korean-born American actor and producer. Yeun initially rose to prominence for his roles as Glenn Rhee in the television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), ...
, who played
Glenn Rhee Glenn Rhee is a Character (arts), fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', in which he is known simply as Glenn. He was portrayed by Steven Yeun in the The Walking Dead (TV series), telev ...
since the pilot through the season seven premiere, knew of his character's death for a year but had to keep quiet, while
Chandler Riggs Chandler Carlton Riggs (born June 27, 1999) is an American actor and DJ, best known for his regular role as Carl Grimes Carl Grimes is a Character (arts), fictional character and is one of the main protagonists in the comic book series ''Th ...

Chandler Riggs
, playing
Carl Grimes Carl Grimes is a Character (arts), fictional character and is one of the main protagonists in the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and was portrayed by Chandler Riggs in the American The Walking Dead (TV ser ...
through the eighth season, was told of his character's departure during the filming in the weeks leading into his final episodes. A few actors have left the show under their own terms due to other commitments or changes, with the writings adopting the plot around these changes: *
Andrew Lincoln Andrew James Clutterbuck (born 14 September 1973),Liberty_bond.html" ;"title="Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond">Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond poster calls ... horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and m ...

Andrew Lincoln
played the series's protagonist Rick Grimes since the pilot. Lincoln announced his plan to leave the show at the start of the ninth season, finding that having to spend half a year in the United States for filming left him missing out on his family in the United Kingdom. Lincoln completed five episodes in the season to close out Rick's storyline within the series, which will be continued in three films. *
Lauren Cohan Lauren Cohan (born ) is a British-American actress best known for her role as Maggie Greene Maggie Greene, later Maggie Rhee in the television series, is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Wa ...

Lauren Cohan
played
Maggie Greene Maggie Greene, later Maggie Rhee in the television series, is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', portrayed by Lauren Cohan in the The Walking Dead (TV series), television adaptatio ...
since the second season. As contract negotiations began for the ninth season, Cohan had been given the opportunity to star in ''Whiskey Cavalier'', limiting how much time she would be able to give to the show. Cohan appeared as Maggie for the first five episodes of the season. In October 2019, it was confirmed that Cohan would return as a series regular for the eleventh season. *
Danai Gurira Danai Jekesai Gurira (; born February 14, 1978) is a Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright. She is best known for her starring roles as Michonne on the AMC (TV channel), AMC horror drama series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking D ...

Danai Gurira
played
Michonne Michonne ( ), later revealed as Michonne Hawthorne, is a Character (arts), fictional character from ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead''. The character also appears in media adaptations of the series, most notably the The Walking ...
since the third season, and announced that she would be leaving the show after the tenth season, participating in a handful of episodes balanced against her other acting commitments. * Both Lennie James (as Morgan Jones) and Austin Amelio (as Dwight (The Walking Dead), Dwight) were transferred from the main series after season eight to the spinoff series ''
Fear the Walking Dead Fear is an intensely unpleasant emotion Emotions are psychological state A mental state is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mental condition. It is a relation that connects the agent with a pr ...
''. James joined the cast of ''Fear the Walking Dead'' in season four and Amelio joined the cast in season five. Casting salaries for the principle actors have grown significantly over the course of the show, up through the seventh season. Overall, the salaries had been lower compared to other similar dramas, including AMC's own ''Mad Men'', but this was justified due to the volatility of any character being potentially written off the show.
Norman Reedus Norman Mark Reedus (born January 6, 1969) is an American actor. He is known for starring in the popular AMC horror drama series '' The Walking Dead'' as Daryl Dixon Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from AMC (TV channel), AMC's Horror fic ...
and
Melissa McBride Melissa Suzanne McBride (born May 23, 1965) is an American actress and former Casting (performing arts)#Casting director, casting director. McBride's breakout role was Carol Peletier on the AMC (TV channel), AMC series ''The Walking Dead (TV serie ...

Melissa McBride
, playing
Daryl Dixon Daryl Dixon is a fictional character In fiction Fiction is any creative workA creative work is a manifestation of creative effort including fine artwork (sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three ...
and
Carol Peletier Carol Peletier () is a fictional character from the comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and is portrayed by Melissa McBride in the American The Walking Dead (TV series), television series of the same name, where sh ...
respectively, had made around per episode during the first season, and by the seventh season, had gotten up to per episode. Lincoln himself was only earning per episode in the seventh season. By season nine, with the departure of Lincoln, Reedus had repeated secured a per episode pay plus additional incentives, potentially earning him over three seasons. McBride similarly had gotten an extended contract in season nine worth over three seasons. Both of these were intended to secure the pair as central figures for the show going forward in Lincoln's absence.


Music

Bear McCreary was hired to compose the score for the series. McCreary stated that the main theme was based on his viewing of production designs for the opening title sequence. Instead of doing a full theme song as with his earlier works, McCreary chose to use a simple, repeating Motif (music), motif from the strings section.


Soundtracks

Four soundtracks for ''The Walking Dead'' have been released to date. ''The Walking Dead: AMC Original Soundtrack, Vol. 1'' was released on March 17, 2013. The second volume was released on March 25, 2014. ''Songs of Survival'' is a soundtrack for the third season and it was released on August 27, 2013, by Republic Records as a Walmart exclusive for the special edition release of the third season. ''Songs of Survival, Vol. 2'' is a soundtrack for the fourth season and it was released on August 26, 2014, by Republic Records as a Walmart exclusive of the fourth season release.


Makeup

Greg Nicotero is an executive producer and the key special effects Prosthetic makeup, makeup artist on the series. Each walker is put through "zombie school" and is taught how to move like zombies. There are three levels of zombie makeup: Hero, Midground, and Deep Background. Hero zombies are featured walkers and are completely made over from head to toe. Midground zombies get highlights and shadows on the face, but do not get close enough to the camera to require full makeup. Deep background zombies often wear masks and are only meant to be used as a backdrop.


Filming

''The Walking Dead'' is predominantly filmed in Georgia. Since 2002, the state has offered Film industry in Georgia (U.S. state), a tax incentive for large film productions to drive producers to the state and bolster its economy. The first season was shot primarily in
Atlanta Atlanta () is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. With an estimated 2019 population of 506,811, it is also the List of United ...

Atlanta
, but required a great deal of coordination with the city to shut down streets and parks for filming. Production for subsequent seasons moved mainly to Riverwood Studios (doing business as Raleigh Studios Atlanta), a plot of land covering approximately , located outside of
Senoia, Georgia Senoia () is a city located 35 minutes south of Atlanta in Coweta County, Georgia, Coweta County, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia, United States. It is part of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Its population was 3,307 at the 2010 census. History The ...
. Some existing buildings were used here, such as a subdivision that is used by several families, which serves as the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Other buildings are constructed as sets, such as the exterior shots of the main Hilltop mansion, the trash heaps used by the Scavengers, or Father Gabriel's church. Sets are torn down when no longer needed; the church, after its use in the fifth season, was removed and its spot used for the iconic setting for the first meeting between Rick's group and Negan in the seventh season. The property includes sound stages constructed for interior shots, which then may be reused; the interior sets for the prison during the third season were reused to serve as the buildings and sets for the Savior's Sanctuary in the seventh season. In July 2017, AMC purchased the studio lot from Riverwood for $8.25 million. Some scenes are shot outside of the studio. Woodbury, during the third season, was filmed in downtown Senoia. Other exceptions include the Kingdom, which is filmed at the former military base Fort McPherson, now converted to studios for Tyler Perry. The series was shot on 16 mm film up until the end of the tenth season before it transitioned to Digital cinematography, digital for the series' final 30 episodes. The change was due to the COVID-19 pandemic with there being less "touch points" with digital than film. David Tattersall was the director of photography for the pilot episode with David Boyd (cinematographer), David Boyd as the director of photography on the remainder of the episodes. Production design is done by Greg Melton and Alex Hajdu. The effects team includes veteran special effects makeup designers Greg Nicotero and Toby Sells, special effects coordinator Darrell Pritchett, and visual effects supervisors Sam Nicholson and Jason Sperling.


Marketing

''The Walking Dead'' debuted during the same week in 120 countries. As part of an expansive campaign to advertise and heighten anticipation for the premiere, AMC and Fox International Channels coordinated a worldwide zombie invasion event on October 26, 2010. The stunt involved invading 26 major cities within a 24-hour period, starting with Taipei and Hong Kong, and ending in Los Angeles for the U.S. premiere. The series's official website released, just prior to the San Diego Comic-Con in 2010, a motion comic based on Issue No. 1 of the original comic and voiced by Phil LaMarr. The site also posted a making-of documentary primarily about the first episode, as well as a number of other behind-the-scenes videos and interviews. In the documentary, comic series creator and television series executive producer Robert Kirkman, as well as artist
Charlie Adlard Charles Adlard is a British comic book artist known for his work on books such as ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'' and ''Invasion! (2000 AD), Savage''. Career Adlard began his work in the UK on ''White Death'' with Robbie Mor ...

Charlie Adlard
, say they are pleased with how faithful the series is to the comic and remark on the similarities between the actors and the comic's original character drawings. Action figures of characters from the series were created for release in November 2011 and have continued throughout the years with eight line-ups. The figures, which are manufactured by McFarlane Toys, are designed to resemble the actors on the series. Figures created to resemble the characters as drawn in the comic book were released in September 2011. In December 2020, it was announced by AMC that Chris Hardwick would host a special for the show featuring the appearances of various cast members, titled ''The Walking Dead Holiday Special'', to promote the show and "reminisce on the franchise series' past". The special was released on December 13, 2020.


Green initiatives

With a primary objective of Environmentally friendly, reducing the environmental impacts of film and television productions, including ''The Walking Dead'', producer Gale Anne Hurd has directed the cast, crew, production team, suppliers, and bloggers about her series to adopt the Doddle app to make the production almost paper-free; this works by digitally transmitting interactive call sheets and other intra-team and team-supplier communications (such as directions, images, menus, and updates) to people's cell phones and Tablet computer, tablets. Hurd said of using Doddle: in addition to conserving paper, "It's also easier, and it's better for security. People are less likely to leave their smartphone or tablet lying around for someone else to pick up." Hurd describes additional steps taken to increase efficiency and cut production costs: "If you use vehicles that get better gas mileage, that are electric or hybrids, you're going to pay a lot less in fuel. If you use compact fluorescent bulbs, you're going to save a lot of money in utilities. If you recycle even your own sets, and use them again, that's going to save money. You don't have to buy new lumber. So there are cost savings, absolutely." Additionally, the production team aims to reduce vehicle idling, which decreases carbon dioxide emissions. Hurd also cuts down on plastic waste by personally using a refillable, stainless steel EcoUsable water bottle and promoting its use among her colleagues. She shared: "on a lot of my projects I give them as crew gifts before we start production, and have water stations available, but you can't force people to use them."


Franchise and spinoffs


Webisodes

To date, four web series based on ''The Walking Dead'' have been released via AMC's website–''The Walking Dead: Torn Apart, Torn Apart'' (2011), ''The Walking Dead: Cold Storage, Cold Storage'' (2012), ''The Walking Dead: The Oath, The Oath'' (2013) and ''The Walking Dead: Red Machete, Red Machete'' (2017).


''Talking Dead''

A live television, live television aftershow titled ''Talking Dead'' premiered on AMC on October 16, 2011, following the encore presentation of ''The Walking Dead'' What Lies Ahead, second-season premiere. ''Talking Dead'' features host Chris Hardwick discussing the latest episode with fans, actors, and producers of ''The Walking Dead''.


Films

Following the departure of
Andrew Lincoln Andrew James Clutterbuck (born 14 September 1973),Liberty_bond.html" ;"title="Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond">Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond poster calls ... horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and m ...

Andrew Lincoln
as
Rick Grimes Rick Grimes is a character (arts), fictional character and the main protagonist in the Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, post-apocalyptic American comic book, comic book series ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead'', ''Skybou ...
during the ninth season, chief content officer Scott M. Gimple, Scott Gimple stated that they plan to create three AMC Original Films to explore events related to Rick's character in the future, starring Lincoln, and with the first expected to begin production in 2019. Besides Lincoln,
Danai Gurira Danai Jekesai Gurira (; born February 14, 1978) is a Zimbabwean-American actress and playwright. She is best known for her starring roles as Michonne on the AMC (TV channel), AMC horror drama series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking D ...

Danai Gurira
(
Michonne Michonne ( ), later revealed as Michonne Hawthorne, is a Character (arts), fictional character from ''The Walking Dead (comic book), The Walking Dead''. The character also appears in media adaptations of the series, most notably the The Walking ...
) and Pollyanna McIntosh (Jadis / Anne) will also star in these films. Gimple stated that these will not simply be extended episodes, nor will attempt to adapt any of the comic stories, but will heavily involve Kirkman in their development. The films will be released in theaters by Universal Pictures. The films are expected to follow a group known as the Three Rings, a militaristic force that see themselves as the future of humanity. This is the force whom Jadis was in contact with and who rescued Rick at the end of "What Comes After (The Walking Dead), What Comes After", the group that Michonne sees at the end of "What We Become", the group that Isabella is from in the episode "The End of Everything" from ''Fear the Walking Dead'', and the teenagers in ''World Beyond'' will be from one of the communities set up by the Three Rings.


Television series


''Fear the Walking Dead''

''Fear the Walking Dead'' is a companion series to ''The Walking Dead'', developed by AMC. AMC started development of the series around September 2013 and committed to a two-season broadcast by March 2015. ''Fear the Walking Dead'' was first broadcast on August 23, 2015. ''Fear the Walking Dead'' features a different set of characters, developed by Kirkman. The series starts at the onset of the
zombie apocalypse Zombie apocalypse is a genre Genre () is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed-upon conventions developed over time. In popular usage, it normally describes a Categor ...
, and follows several people that escape Los Angeles as the military attempts to quarantine the city, and seek refuge along the west coast of the United States and Mexico. The fourth season of ''Fear the Walking Dead'' features a crossover with ''The Walking Dead'', specifically through the character Morgan Jones (played by Lennie James) who joins the cast of ''Fear the Walking Dead'' after the events of the eighth season of ''The Walking Dead''. Similarly, Dwight (The Walking Dead), Dwight, played by Austin Amelio, joined ''Fear the Walking Dead'' for its fifth season in 2019.


''The Walking Dead: World Beyond''

In April 2019, AMC officially announced it had ordered a 10-episode series created by Scott M. Gimple and Matthew Negrete. The series focuses on the first generation of children that have grown up during the zombie apocalypse who call themselves "Endlings", and are aware of how to survive if confronted by them, but have otherwise been raised behind walls and have never actually experienced survival. Production began in July 2019 in Richmond, Virginia, with Jordan Vogt-Roberts directing the pilot. The series stars Aliyah Royale, Alexa Mansour, Annet Mahendru, Nicolas Cantu, Hal Cumpston, Nico Tortorella and Julia Ormond. The series premiered on October 4, 2020, and will consist of two seasons.


Daryl and Carol spinoff

A spinoff series created by
Angela Kang Angela Kang (born March 23, 1976) is an American television writer currently serving as showrunner on the AMC (TV channel), AMC horror drama series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead''. She will continue as showrunner for the upcomi ...
and Scott M. Gimple to star Reedus and McBride as their characters Daryl and Carol, respectively, was also announced in September 2020, with plans to air in 2023 after the conclusion of the eleventh season of the main show.


''Tales of the Walking Dead''

In September 2020, AMC announced they and Gimple had been developing an episodic anthology series that would be based on new or existing characters that would explore backstories. In October 2021, AMC officially greenlit a six-episode first season to debut in mid-2022. Channing Powell, who has written for both ''The Walking Dead'' and ''Fear the Walking Dead'', will serve as showrunner.


Others

Wizards of the Coast worked with AMC to include characters and elements of ''The Walking Dead'', into ''Magic: The Gathering'' as part of a 2020 "Secret Lair" card set, given that the card game had already had the idea of zombies within the game already.


Parodies and spoofs

Due to its popularity, ''The Walking Dead'' has inspired dozens of parodies and spoofs featured on YouTube channels like Bad Lip Reading and television series such as ''Saturday Night Live'' and ''Mad TV''. Bad Lip Reading made a widely viewed parody involving Rick and the Governor, entitled "La-Bibbida-Bibba-Dum". The series's cast was shown the parody at the San Diego Comic-Con in 2013, and David Morrisseywho portrays the Governor reacted by saying he now understood why so many people would walk up to him on the street and blurt, "Hey, La-Bibbida-Bibba-Dum!" Until seeing the video, he had wondered, "what's wrong with these people?" ''The Walking Dead'' has also been represented as a live comedy performance by English comedian Dan Willis (comedian), Dan Willis at the Edinburgh Festival. A parody film called ''The Walking Deceased'' was released in 2015.


Release

Scenes from the pilot were screened July 23, 2010, as part of the San Diego Comic-Con in 2010. It premiered on AMC on October 31, 2010, and premiered internationally on Fox Networks Group, Fox International Channels during the first week of November. Almost two weeks before the official premiere on AMC, the pilot episode leaked online. International broadcast rights for the series were sold and announced on June 14, 2010. The series airs on Fox International Channels in 126 countries in 33 languages. The fifth season debuted its first part on October 13, 2014. The second part premiered on February 9, 2015. On May 20, 2021, it was announced, following the closure of the Fox (British and Irish TV channel), Fox channel in the UK and Ireland, that the eleventh and final season would instead be released on the Star (Disney+), Star hub on
Disney+ Disney+ is an American Video on demand#Subscription models, subscription video on-demand Over-the-top media service, over-the-top Streaming media, streaming service owned and operated by the Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, Media an ...
the day after episodes air in the United States.


Home media

The first season DVD and Blu-ray was released on March 8, 2011. A three-disc special edition of the first season—featuring new featurettes and audio commentaries—was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 4, 2011. The European versions of the first season DVD and Blu-ray are edited for gore, with cuts to episode two ("Guts"), episode three ("Tell It to the Frogs"), episode four ("Vatos") and episode five ("Wildfire"). Until eOne/WVG re-released the first season in D-A-CH in a ''Special Uncut Version'' on DVD and Blu-ray on May 31, 2013. The second season DVD and Blu-ray was released on August 28, 2012. It was also released as a limited edition Blu-ray, packaged as a miniature zombie head designed by McFarlane Toys. Special features include audio commentaries, deleted scenes, webisodes, and several featurettes. The third season DVD and Blu-ray was released on August 27, 2013. It was also released as a limited edition Blu-ray, packaged as a miniature version of the Governor's zombie head aquarium tank designed by Greg Nicotero and sculpted by McFarlane Toys. Special features include audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and several featurettes. The fourth season DVD and Blu-ray was released on August 26, 2014. It was also released as a limited edition Blu-ray, packaged with a tree-walker designed by McFarlane Toys. Special features include audio commentaries, deleted scenes, and several featurettes, as well as extended episodes which are exclusive to the Blu-ray. The fifth season DVD and Blu-ray was released on August 25, 2015, the sixth season DVD and Blu-ray was released on August 23, 2016, the seventh season DVD and Blu-ray was released on August 22, 2017, the eighth season DVD and Blu-ray was released on August 21, 2018, and the ninth season DVD and Blu-ray was released on August 20, 2019. Home video release for the first six seasons was distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment, and home video release for the seventh season onwards was distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment in the United States for the American home video releases. The international home video release were distributed by Entertainment One.


Syndication

MyNetworkTV acquired the broadcast syndication rights to the series, premiering on October 1, 2014. The version that airs on MyNetworkTV is edited to meet broadcast television standards.


Reception


Critical reception

The first six seasons and the ninth and tenth seasons of ''The Walking Dead'' have been well reviewed by recognized critics, while the seventh and eighth seasons received more mixed reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the series has an average score of 81%. For the first season, 87% of 31 Rotten Tomatoes critics gave it a positive review, with an average score of 7.35/10. That site's consensus states, "Blood-spattered, emotionally resonant, and white-knuckle intense, ''The Walking Dead'' puts an intelligent spin on the overcrowded zombie subgenre." Metacritic scored the first season 82/100 based on 25 critic reviews, 23 of which were positive, two mixed, and none negative. For the second season, 80% of 24 critic reviews on Rotten Tomatoes were positive, with an average score of 8.05/10. The site's consensus states, "The second season of The Walking Dead fleshes out the characters while maintaining the grueling tension and gore that made the show a hit." Of 22 Metacritic critic reviews, 18 were positive, four were mixed, and none were negative; their average score was 80/100. Early criticism of the series focused on the slow pace of the second season, particularly the first half. Ken Tucker of ''Entertainment Weekly'', described the series as "a nighttime Soap opera, soap", comparing it to "a parody of a Samuel Beckett play" that had very little sense of direction and few appearances of walkers. Nate Rawlings of ''Time (magazine), Time''s online entertainment section noted that "the pace during the first half of this season has been brutally slow. [...] They've tried to develop individual characters, but each subplot meant to add a layer to a character has been quickly resolved." Later reviews from other critics, such as Scott Wampler of Collider.com, recognized the increased quality of the second half, stating it "seemed far more intense, more interesting, better written". Recognizing the overall season, Kevin Yeoman of ''Screen Rant'' offered praise saying "the writers succeeded in unshackling themselves from the intermittent monotony brought about by the serial nature of the show". The third season had 88% of Rotten Tomatoes' 33 critics giving it a positive review, with an average score of 7.85/10. The site's consensus states, "The palpable terror and visceral thrills continue in the third season of ''The Walking Dead'', along with a deeper sense of the people who inhabit its apocalyptic landscape." Metacritic's 19 critics rated the season 82/100, all of whom gave a positive review. For the fourth season, 81% of Rotten Tomatoes' 32 critic reviews were positive, with an average score of 7.60/10. The site's consensus states, "Consistently thrilling, with solid character development and enough gore to please grindhouse fans, this season of ''The Walking Dead'' continues to demonstrate why it's one of the best horror shows on television". Metacritic scored the season 75/100 based on 16 critic reviews, 13 of which were positive, three mixed, and none negative. The fifth season had 90% of Rotten Tomatoes' 32 critic reviews rating it positively, with an average score of 6.95/10. The site's consensus states, "Thanks to a liberal dose of propulsive, bloody action and enough compelling character moments to reward longtime fans, ''The Walking Dead''s fifth season continues to deliver top-notch entertainment." Metacritic scored the fifth season 80/100 based on 11 critic reviews, all of which were positive. For the sixth season, 76% of Rotten Tomatoes' 25 critic reviews were positive, with an average score of 7.40/10. The site's consensus states, "Six seasons in, ''The Walking Dead'' is still finding ways to top itself, despite slow patches that do little to advance the plot." Metacritic scored the sixth season 79/100 based on 10 critic reviews, nine of which were positive, one mixed, and none negative. For the seventh season, 66% of Rotten Tomatoes' 18 critic reviews rated it positively, with an average score of 6.85/10. The site's consensus is, "Increased character depth and effective world-building helps ''The Walking Dead'' overcome a tiresome reliance on excessive, gratuitous violence." After the controversial The Day Will Come When You Won't Be, season premiere episode was aired, critic Matt Zoller Seitz criticized the series' consistently cynical use of violence, stating that "The longer this series goes on, the more obvious it becomes that the violence is the point, and everything else is an intellectual fig leaf." For the eighth season, 65% of Rotten Tomatoes' 17 critic reviews rated it positively, with an average score of 6.65/10. The site's consensus states "''The Walking Dead''s eighth season energizes its characters with some much-needed angst and action, though it's still occasionally choppy and lacking forward-moving plot progression." For the ninth season, 89% of Rotten Tomatoes' 22 critic reviews were positive, with an average score of 7.15/10. The site's consensus states, "Nine seasons in, ''The Walking Dead'' feels more alive than ever, with heightened tension and a refreshed pace that rejuvenates this long-running franchise." Metacritic scored the ninth season 72/100 based on 4 critic reviews, 3 of which were positive, one mixed, and none negative. For the tenth season, 77% of Rotten Tomatoes' 6 critic reviews were positive, with an average score of 7/10. The site's consensus states, "A few changes in front of and behind the camera allow ''TWD'' create space for compelling new stories and some seriously scary new adversaries." In 2013, ''TV Guide'' ranked ''The Walking Dead'' as the #8 sci-fi show.


Comments about diversity

Some critics have commented on the increasing Diversity (politics), diversity of the series. This approach was initially applauded by commentators. In 2015, Lindsay Putnam of the ''New York Post'' questioned whether the show was in danger of becoming "too diverse" as the show "seemingly reached critical mass for its nonwhite, nonmale survivors — and now has no choice but to kill them off". Robert Kirkman has discussed the increasing diversity of the show and the comic books. He has described how he regrets the lack of diversity in the early issues of the comic book series and explained how they would have been "vastly more diverse" if he were to have started them now.


Ratings

During its first season, ''The Walking Dead'' attracted between four and six million viewers. Viewership began to increase in its second season. During seasons three to seven, it attracted ten to seventeen million viewers. In 2012, during its third season, it became the first cable series in television history to have the highest total viewership of any series during the fall season among 18- to 49-year-old adults. In 2014, total viewership for the show's No Sanctuary (The Walking Dead), fifth-season premiere was 17.3 million, making it the most-watched series episode in cable history. In 2016, a ''New York Times'' study of the 50 television series with the most Facebook Like, Facebook likes found that like most other zombie series, ''The Walking Dead'' "is most popular in rural areas, particularly southern Texas and eastern Kentucky". Ratings began to decline during season seven and have continued to steadily drop, which was blamed on a variety of factors, including Rick's presumed death. By the end of season nine, fewer viewers were watching than at any time since the show's first season.


Awards and nominations

''The Walking Dead'' was nominated for Best New Series by the Writers Guild of America Awards 2011 and Best Television Series Drama by the 68th Golden Globe Awards. The series was named one of the top 10 television programs of 2010 by the American Film Institute Awards 2010. For the 37th Saturn Awards, the series received six nominations—for Best Television Presentation,
Andrew Lincoln Andrew James Clutterbuck (born 14 September 1973),Liberty_bond.html" ;"title="Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond">Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond poster calls ... horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and m ...

Andrew Lincoln
for Best Actor in Television,
Sarah Wayne Callies Sarah Wayne Callies (born June 1, 1977) is an American actress. She is known for starring as Sara Tancredi in Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox's ''Prison Break'' and as Lori Grimes in AMC (TV channel), AMC's ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walk ...

Sarah Wayne Callies
for Best Actress on Television,
Steven Yeun Steven Yeun (; ko, 연상엽; born Yeun Sang-yeop; December 21, 1983) is a South Korean-born American actor and producer. Yeun initially rose to prominence for his roles as Glenn Rhee in the television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), ...
for Best Supporting Actor in Television, Laurie Holden for Best Supporting Actress in Television, and Noah Emmerich for Best Guest Starring Role in Television. The series was nominated for Best Drama Series by the inaugural 1st Critics' Choice Television Awards. The pilot episode "Days Gone Bye" received three nominations from the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards—for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series and Outstanding Special Visual Effects for a Series and won for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie, or Special. For the 41st Saturn Awards, the series received its highest number of nominations, with a total of seven, including for the series itself,
Andrew Lincoln Andrew James Clutterbuck (born 14 September 1973),Liberty_bond.html" ;"title="Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond">Joseph Pennell's 1918 prophetic Liberty bond poster calls ... horror Horror may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and m ...

Andrew Lincoln
for Best Actor on Television,
Norman Reedus Norman Mark Reedus (born January 6, 1969) is an American actor. He is known for starring in the popular AMC horror drama series '' The Walking Dead'' as Daryl Dixon Daryl Dixon is a fictional character from AMC (TV channel), AMC's Horror fic ...
for Best Supporting Actor on Television,
Emily Kinney Emily Rebecca Kinney (born August 15, 1985) is an American actress, singer, and songwriter. She is known for her role as Beth Greene on AMC (TV channel), AMC's horror drama television series ''The Walking Dead (TV series), The Walking Dead'' (2 ...
and
Melissa McBride Melissa Suzanne McBride (born May 23, 1965) is an American actress and former Casting (performing arts)#Casting director, casting director. McBride's breakout role was Carol Peletier on the AMC (TV channel), AMC series ''The Walking Dead (TV serie ...

Melissa McBride
for Best Supporting Actress on Television, Andrew J. West for Best Guest Star on Television, and
Chandler Riggs Chandler Carlton Riggs (born June 27, 1999) is an American actor and DJ, best known for his regular role as Carl Grimes Carl Grimes is a Character (arts), fictional character and is one of the main protagonists in the comic book series ''Th ...

Chandler Riggs
for Best Young Performer on Television.


Lawsuits


Breach of contract suits

Frank Darabont, Darabont's departure as showrunner in July 2011 during the second season came as surprise to many, as it came shortly after the season's premiere and a few days after that year's San Diego Comic-Con, Comic-Con, where Darabont helped to promote the series. It was speculated that he was unable to adjust to the schedule of running a television series; however, ''The Hollywood Reporter'' reported that AMC had fired him. There had been reported difficulties in the production of the second season, including disputes over planned budget cuts and executive meddling, and it was known that Darabont and AMC had several discussions relating to these factors. Neither Darabont, AMC, nor the cast nor crew of ''The Walking Dead'' spoke about the reasons for his firing. In December 2013, Darabont and his agents from Creative Artists Agency (CAA) filed a lawsuit against AMC in a New York court, citing breach of contract. A central part of Darabont's lawsuit accuses AMC of denying him and the CAA the promised profits from the success of the series, based on how AMC had used vertical integration in producing and distributing ''The Walking Dead''. As stated in Darabont's filing, he had initially entered into a contract with AMC to have a third-party studio produce the series, from which he would have obtained 12.5% of that entity's profits, after standard deductions. AMC wanted to produce the series in-house, and for the first season, Darabont's lawyers had been assured that Darabont would be protected from self-dealing fees by having AMC commit to imputed income, imputed license fees equivalent to those of other independent studios, with Darabont earning profit from that. Darabont's suit contends that when the series's popularity took off, AMC presented a license fee deal to Darabont around February 2011 that used "an unconscionably low license fee formula" such that AMC could report the series running at a loss and ensuring that Darabont would never see any profit from the series; as an example, the suit references statements in 2012, following the second season, that AMC claimed the series was running at a $49 million deficit, despite being one of the most popular series in broadcast. Darabont's suit contends he was fired just at the start of the second season so that AMC would avoid having to pay him. Initial discovery (law), discovery phase hearings were held in 2014. Darabont's lawyers sought to gain information from AMC on their other series, specifically ''Breaking Bad'' and ''Mad Men'', to obtain a "fair market value" for ''The Walking Dead''. AMC asserted it had done no wrongdoing, had already paid Darabont $3 million upfront for two seasons, and was able to properly set the imputed license fee that worked into the profit formula for Darabont. The network resisted the request to provide otherwise confidential information on the other series. The court granted Darabont's lawyers access to the requested information as part of the discovery phase. Darabont described "crisis-level problems" during the series's production while under deposition, claiming that AMC had cut the per-episode budget from $3.4 million to $3 million while keeping the tax credit offered by the state of Georgia for filming there, effectively reducing the production budget by 25%. In August 2015, Darabont requested to amend his original complaint that AMC further reduced his profits from the second season as his firing mid-season meant he was not fully vested in the season, allowing AMC to reduce the profits paid him. Darabont's amended request points out that he had written and produced all the episodes in that season already and was entitled to the proper profit share. The judge granted this amendment in February 2016, partially influenced by concerns raised in Darabont's deposition. At the end of the discovery phase in September 2016, Darabont's lawyers stated they are seeking damages of over $280 million; AMC stated they will "vigorously" defend against the lawsuit. Summary judgement statements were completed in July 2017. While waiting for summary judgement, Darabont and the CAA filed a second lawsuit against AMC, based on further evaluation of material from the discovery phase. The second suit contended that AMC purposely manipulated some of its licensing fees that should go to Darabont, such as revenue from digital sales and from overseas markets, and sought an addition in damages. Though AMC had initially refused to provide necessary documents for discovery for this new case, AMC did offer to willingly provide them after Darabont's attorneys threatened further legal action during October 2018. By December 2018, the presiding judge ruled against issuing summary judgement in the case, setting up for a jury trial to hear the full case. Due to the retirement of the judge that had overseen the previous cases, a new judge was assigned to the case in February 2019, who joined both the initial 2013 suit and the 2018 suit into a single case, expected to be heard in May 2020. AMC filed a new request for summary judgement of the case in December 2019. The summary judgement was denied, and the jury trial for the case started on February 10, 2020. The judge also denied AMC summary judgement in the second suit for the additional in April 2020, determining that should also go to jury. By July 2021, AMC reported they had settled with Darabont and CAA for and future royalty payments. In August 2017, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Charles Eglee, Glen Mazzara and David Alpert filed similar lawsuits against AMC, citing breach of contract over profits owed to them as a result of AMC's vertical integration. As with Darabont, each had been given a certain percentage of the series's profits based on if the series was produced by a third-party, but when it was transitioned to AMC Studios, their share was dramatically reduced. ''The Hollywood Reporter'' estimated that if the four seek similar damages as Darabont, the lawsuit could be as high as $1 billion. The suits, filed separately in Los Angeles and New York City, were consolidated into a single case heard in a Los Angeles court. Initial hearings over the contractual terms of the "modified adjusted gross receipts" were held in February and March 2020, and the court ruled in July 2020 that AMC had followed the contractual terms in calculating these amounts, giving the network a preliminary victory in the trial. Kirkman and the others said that despite the lawsuit, they will continue to work as "partners" with AMC to assure continued success of ''The Walking Dead'' and its spinoff series ''Fear the Walking Dead''.


Stuntman death

During filming of season 8 in July 2017, stuntman John Bernecker was performing a 21-foot drop but ended up missing padded cushions and instead fell onto the concrete floor, sustaining a serious head injury. Though rushed to a hospital, his injuries were too severe and he was taken off life support the next day. AMC and the show's cast and crew expressed remorse for the accident, shutting down production for several days to deal with Bernecker's funeral. The Atlanta Occupational Safety and Health Administration branch launched an investigation of the incident. Bernecker's mother filed a lawsuit in January 2018 against AMC asserting that the production had not taken sufficient precautions to protect Bernecker, including lack of sufficient padding, lack of rehearsal, and not having an ambulance ready to treat his injury. The judge presiding the lawsuit dismissed AMC's claims that it was not responsible since Bernecker was in full control of setting up the stunt, allowing the case to proceed to a jury trial. The trial was held during December 2019, with the jury awarding Bernecker's family in damages on December 19 after finding that TWD 8, the AMC entity managing production, and the production company Stalwart Films were negligent in Bernecker's death, while clearing AMC itself of any wrongdoing.


References


External links

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