Where to next for "The Walking Dead" franchise

25 November, 2022

The Walking Dead has become a flagship series for AMC and one of the most successful shows on TV. With a global appeal and a back catalog of 10 previous seasons, the show has also helped fuel streaming platforms around the world who have licensed the rights to the show. However, demand for the eleventh and final season failed to reach the highs of other recent seasons. AMC’s decision to wrap up the show after eleven seasons and focus on developing the franchise through spinoffs looks like a savvy move.


Season 9 of The Walking Dead (TWD) had the most successful premiere of the past five years, when global demand for the show peaked at 96x in its first week. The tenth season of the show saw some of its highest levels of demand globally in March and April of 2020, benefitting from what was many people’s first experience with pandemic era lockdowns.  

While demand for the show for most of its eleventh season may have not reached the peaks of previous seasons, it remained fairly high as fans around the world returned each week to see how the long running series would wrap up. The show still managed to end on a high note ranking as the #1 most in-demand show globally for four days after its finale with demand peaking at 112.7x on Nov 22 2022.

The best days of The Walking Dead may have been behind it but the franchise’s longest running spinoff so far, Fear the Walking Dead is still in its prime, showing consistent growth in demand with each successive season. Its most recent seventh season averaged 29.3x demand in its first 30 days and peaked at 42x. It should be noted that this is still well below the level of demand that the original series was able to attract. With an eighth season currently in production, it remains to be seen if “Fear the Walking Dead” will become a new anchor for fans of the franchise or if we can expect to see demand for the franchise fragmented across multiple spinoff series going forward.


The future of The Walking Dead franchise will lie with its numerous spinoffs. In addition to the original series and Fear the Walking Dead, TWD universe currently consists of Tales of the Walking Dead, an anthology spinoff that premiered in August, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, a limited series that wrapped up its two season run last year.

There are also three planned spinoffs that have been announced - The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon (starring Norman Reedus), The Walking Dead: Dead City (starring Lauren Cohan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and an as yet untitled series featuring the characters Rick and Michonne from the original series (starring Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira).


To get a sense of how receptive audiences might be to these new series we can look at what audience demand currently is for their leads. Most of the actors set to star in upcoming spinoffs already had an outstanding level of demand, driven by existing fans from their roles in the original series. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (29.9x) just beat out Norman Reedus (29.3x) with slightly higher demand during the final stretch of TWD - a good sign for the upcoming Dead City. Danai Gurira’s demand surged during the final episodes of TWD and peaked at 46x. Her increased audience demand should be a boost to the untitled series she is set to star in alongside Andrew Lincoln.

With a strong universe at its core built up over many years, the growing Walking Dead franchise is built on a solid foundation. Existing spinoffs like Fear the Walking Dead have already been successful and continue to capture more audience attention. High demand for the leads of upcoming spinoff series is just one more sign that there is still room for this franchise to grow.

Get a glimpse into the future of global audience demand measurement for TV shows, movies and talent and learn from consolidated insights and strategic thinking focused on the entertainment industry.

Exclusive global, regional and market-specific content and talent analyses
Rank 15,000+ talent in 50+ markets across all platforms
Rank 20k+ TV shows and 12k+ movies in 50+ markets across all platforms

The Global Television Demand Report

  • Truly understand the global SVOD originals landscape
  • Comprehensive platform market share benchmarks
  • Released each quarter covering 10 global markets
  • Get exclusive access to our comprehensive reports
  • Available for FREE with a DEMAND360LITE subscription