It’s a television executive’s job to put the most optimistic spin on their network’s performance while speaking with members of the press about the future and upcoming projects. But during a recent call with the Wall Street Journal, AMC CEO Josh Sapan took things entirely too far.
While speaking about ratings giant The Walking Dead, Sapan took the opportunity to remind everyone just how important the franchise is to AMC’s portfolio and emphasize that the network has no plans of killing off the zombie horror show anytime soon. Why bring The Walking Dead to a close now when there are so many more untapped opportunities for mobile games, virtual reality experiences, and oodles and oodles of TWD branded tchotchkes?
“The use of the word ‘franchise,’ we don’t take lightly. It’s not a sloppy or casual word. We’ve studied the best. Some have been around 30, 40, 50 years. We have a chance for a lot of life in the franchise.”
This is exactly the type of industry dirty talk that, say, an AMC shareholder might want to hear Sapan whisper into their ear, but let the idea of 50 years of The Walking Dead sink in for a moment. What would that even look like? We’ve already seen Old Man Rick, but would AMC ever dare kill Rick off or—forgive me—recast Andrew Lincoln? Probably not, but you really do have to wonder what value The Walking Dead would have after five decades. There’s only so much to be mined out of a story about the dead coming back to life and taking over the planet and thanks to literally every single The Walking Dead fan ever, we already know that humans are the real walking dead.
All the same, the chances of The Walking Dead lasting that long are slim to none, but if this nonsense does somehow manage to come to pass, blame Robert Kirkman for not telling AMC how the hell the story’s supposed to end.