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The Walking Dead will return for Season 9 with a new showrunner

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Jan 13, 2018, 2:12 PM EST

Though The Walking Dead is still a massive TV juggernaut with the highest ratings in the coveted 18-49-year-old viewership, those numbers have declined over the course of the show’s seventh and eighth seasons. Has the craze for all things zombie finally ebbed? AMC is betting a strong "Hell, no!" on that and has renewed The Walking Dead for a ninth season, to begin in late 2018. However, the network is renewing with big changes to come. Showrunner Scott Gimple is out (and moving up; more on that in a sec), and co-executive producer Angela Kang is in. Kang will begin her tenure as showrunner and executive producer on Season 9.

Gimple, the third showrunner in the series’ history, took over at the start of the fourth season, and during his time at the helm the show produced some of its highest-rated shows, which is saying a lot, considering the enduring popularity of The Walking Dead and its numbers overall. But viewership has slipped, and Gimple first saw widespread fan criticism after the decision to end Season 6 with a cliffhanger hinting at the death of a major player.  (Though, hey, can you blame him, it is called The Walking Dead, after all.)

At any rate, Gimple is moving up to a role-created-just-for-him, chief content officer, looking over all Walking Dead TV enterprises, including Fear the Walking Dead, as well as any future brand extensions. And as for Kang, who began as a writer on the show in 2011 and quickly ascended the producing ranks, fans are surely counting on her to bring new life to the dead.

Watch the cast reflect on Season 8 below: