According to Deadline, Cohan is only contractually obligated to appear in the first six episodes of AMC's new season due to her commitment on ABC's upcoming Whiskey Cavalier, a drama that explores the relationship between two agents in the FBI and CIA. Scott Foley (Scandal), Ana Ortiz (Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2), and fellow Walking Dead alum Tyler James Williams (Noah) will be her co-stars on the show. Cavalier is expected to start shooting this summer, set to premiere sometime next year.
Like previous seasons, The Walking Dead will be split into two eight-episode chunks, which will be distinguished by a midseason finale. Right now, it looks like Cohan will only be appearing in the first half of the season and not even for the full eight episodes. Her return to the series was cast into doubt earlier this year when the 36-year-old actress became a hot commodity among networks and studios.
This coincided with Cohan's contract with AMC running out of juice, making it an oppurtune time for her to reevaluate her options. Showrunner Scott Gimple voiced his optimism of her return and indeed, it was confirmed late last month. While this is a cause to celebrate for Walking Dead fans, the latest news about her partial commitment to Season 9 means that she does want to branch out in her career and try new things.
Following the death of her love Glenn (Steven Yeun) at the hands of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Maggie became a driving member of the surviving humans, opposing the Saviors at every turn, despite her carrying Glenn's child.