"The Walking Dead" has been a huge hit for AMC, so it was widely expected by industry observers to be renewed for a fifth season. And as it turned out, they were right.
"In some of the least surprising renewal news imaginable, AMC has renewed ‘The Walking Dead,’" The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports. "TV’s top scripted performer will return in 2014 for a fifth season."
The cable channel also announced that showrunner Scott M. Gimple will be back in that position. "Gimple, who has been with the zombie drama based on Robert Kirkman’s long-running comics since season one, ranks as the show’s third showrunner, following Frank Darabont and Glen Mazzara," THR notes.
AMC President Charlie Collier made the announcement today, saying: "We are very happy to make what has to be one of the most anti-climactic renewal announcements ever: ‘The Walking Dead’ is renewed for a fifth season. This is a show that has erased traditional distinctions between cable and broadcast. Its expanding base of passionate fans has grown every season, most recently — and most notably — with the season-four premiere earlier this month, which broke viewership records for the series and became the biggest nonsports telecast in cable history. On behalf of the incredible team on both sides of the camera, thank you to the fans and here’s to more ‘Dead.’"
THR adds: "An exact episode count for season five has yet to be announced — this season again consists of 16 total hours split in runs of eight — and a renewal for Chris Hardwick-hosted companion ‘Talking Dead’ has also not yet been announced. But the talk show, which was expanded to an hour and runs immediately after the zombie drama, also returned to season highs this year and will likely return for another run."