The zombie apocalypse is nearing its end... kinda. But when can we finally expect the zombie pandemic to grace our screens for one final season of The Walking Dead? It’s complicated, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
Back in early September, AMC revealed that the 11th season of The Walking Dead will be its last, with Lauren Cohan (who plays Maggie Greene) returning as a series regular. While the network is giving viewers a large parting gift — the season will feature 24 episodes instead of the usual 16, plus six additional episodes of season 10 — the question of when we’ll get to see them is a little up in the air.
Back in March, as COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, pre-production on The Walking Dead was halted. AMC then announced season 11 wouldn’t premiere in October 2020 as planned, marking the first time the show wouldn’t start a new season in October during its 10-year run. (Post-production on the season 10 finale also couldn’t be completed due to the pandemic, so that will instead air on October 4, 2020.)
While an official date has not yet been announced for the six additional episodes or season 11, there’s still plenty to be excited about. According to showrunner Angela Kang, the six episodes were crafted and will be shot differently due to restrictions caused by the pandemic. “The episodes are all designed to be filmed safely during this pandemic that we're in,” Kang said during a preview special, according to Forbes. “There's sort of an anthological feel to some of them. They're really deep dives into our characters, which I hope people enjoy.” The six episodes will be shot and aired in early 2021, Variety reports — so we can probably expect season 11 to be filmed around the same time.
The format of The Walking Dead’s final season will also differ not only in length, but how it’s presented. The first 12 episodes of season 11 will air in 2021, while the last 12 will air in 2022.
There’s no need to start mourning The Walking Dead just yet, however: AMC has also ordered two spinoffs focusing on Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), and another anthology-style series. Looks like this zombie apocalypse is never going to end.