How AMC Juggernaut 'The Walking Dead' Will Live On

How AMC Juggernaut 'The Walking Dead' Will Live On

AMC Networks AMCX saw its stock climb from 2011 to 2015, in large part thanks to the popularity of “The Walking Dead.” The company will now have to rely on spinoffs and other content as it says goodbye to its ratings giant.

What Happened: AMC Networks announced its popular series will come to an end in 2022 with the 11th season and its 24 episodes. Six additional episodes meant for Season 10 will air prior to this, stretching the 30 episodes over a two-year period.

The Season 10 finale, which was meant to air in April, is scheduled to air Oct. 4. The series premiere of “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” will air after the finale.

A new spinoff announced by the company that will focus on the characters Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier, the only two series regulars left from season one. Former showrunner Scott Gimple is also working on “Tales of the Walking Dead,” an episodic anthology featuring one-off character-driven episodes.

Why It’s Important: “The Walking Dead” has seen viewership fall over the years, but remains one of most viewed nonsports scripted shows on television. Season 10 averaged 5.4 million viewers per week. Peak viewership hit 17.3 million for 2014’s Season 5 Premiere.

AMC will have to replace significant advertising revenue from its hit show. The show once commanded over $330,000 per 30-second ad, ranking ahead of all broadcast scripted shows.

AMC Networks has focused on keeping “The Walking Dead” success going with spinoffs. The announcement of a Carol and Daryl spinoff will join other spinoffs “Fear the Walking Dead” and “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.”

What’s Next: AMC Networks is also working with Comcast Corporation CMCSA unit Universal Pictures on feature films centered on “The Walking Dead” main character Rick Grimes, who is no longer on the show.

“Better Call Saul” and “Killing Eve” are two of the company’s other ratings hits, ranking fourth and 15th in the recent fall season for ratings.

Price Action: AMC Networks has seen its share price decline as the success of “The Walking Dead” has declined. Shares traded over $80 in periods of 2015.

AMC shares were down 1% to $22.25 on Wednesday. AMC shares are down 43% in 2020. Shares have traded between $19.62 and $52.46 over the last 52 weeks.

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