The Walking Dead has been renewed for Season 9 with one very exciting shakeup: longtime series writer, Angela Kang, will take over as showrunner while Scott M. Gimple will rise to oversee everything The Walking Dead. AMC shared the big change on Saturday after announcing the show would live another year.
While this isn't the first time TWD has gotten a new leader — Kang is number four — it is the first time that leader has been a woman. Frank Darabont was showrunner for seasons 1 and 2, Glen Mazzara briefly took over for Season 3, and Gimple was in charge for seasons 4 through 8.
"This is an enormously important day for the entire The Walking Dead television universe," AMC president Charlie Collier said. "We are proud to acknowledge Angela’s significant contribution to the series and to set a clear path forward for a ninth season under her direction. Further, with gratitude and admiration, we also recognize Scott’s broad impact on, and leadership of, the content that fuels our TWD universe. Together, we will dream bigger and more broadly than ever before. I know I speak for Angela, Scott and everyone at AMC when I say thanks most of all to the fans and the many talented people who have helped AMC play Dead."
Kang's crowning is an exciting revelation, especially given The Walking Dead's core audience. With a strong female fan base and badass protagonists like Maggie, Michonne, and Carol, it makes sense that a woman would take the helm.
As several outlets noted, The Walking Dead Season 8 was a low point for the series — ratings dropped to the lowest they've been in years. It's not so much the decline that's concerning (as we know, ratings tend to drop the longer shows go on), but the speed at which that decline is happening. Still, the show remains the most popular drama among adults 18-49, which means there's time to turn things around.
Here's hoping Kang, who has a fantastic track record, can bring TWD steadfastly into the future.