It's the end of the line for The Walking Dead.
The AMC juggernaut is coming to a close after a 24-episode 11th season.
What's more, the end of the original series paves the way for a Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) spinoff, which is slated to begin in 2023.
“It’s been 10 years ‘gone bye;’ what lies ahead are two more to come and stories and stories to tell beyond that,” said franchise overlord Scott Gimple in a statement.
“What’s clear is that this show has been about the living, made by a passionate cast, team of writer/producers, producers, and crew, bringing to life the vision put forth by Robert Kirkman in his brilliant comic — and supported by the best fans in the world. We have a lot of thrilling story left to tell on TWD, and then, this end will be a beginning of more Walking Dead — brand new stories and characters, familiar faces and places, new voices, and new mythologies."
"This will be a grand finale that will lead to new premieres. Evolution is upon us. The Walking Dead lives”
Added showrunner Angela Kang:
“I look forward to digging in with our brilliant writers, producers, directors, cast and crew to bring this epic final chapter of Robert Kirkman’s story to life for our fans over the next two years."
"The Walking Dead flagship series has been my creative home for a decade and so it’s bittersweet to bring it to an end, but I could not be more excited to be working with Scott Gimple and AMC to develop a new series for Daryl and Carol."
"Working with Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride has been a highlight of my career and I’m thrilled that we get to keep telling stories together.”
"The Walking Dead made television history, and is one of those rare creative works that has given life to an entire content universe that is still in the early stages of growing and entertaining both new and established fans," said Ed Carroll, chief operating officer of AMC Networks.
"We can’t wait to bring viewers this expanded final season of The Walking Dead over the next two years, and launch the fourth series in the history of the franchise, focused on the beloved Daryl and Carol characters, with the incredibly talented Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Angela Kang and Scott M. Gimple."
"There really is so much ‘walking’ ahead, in a number of very exciting directions, for this extraordinary creative universe we call The Walking Dead."
"Of course, I've always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons. In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I've also long been intrigued with 'Daryl and Carol,' and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound," said McBride.
"Their shared history is long, and each's own personal fight to survive, even longer - the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal. But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I'm very curious! "
"Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She's like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I'm very excited!"
"I feel incredibly honored to be a part of 'The Walking Dead.' This show changed my life and career and everyone involved has truly been a family for me over the last decade. I'm thankful for AMC's love and support and know there's so much more story to tell and so much more to bring the best fans in the world."
"Daryl's relationship with Carol has always been my favorite relationship on the show (sorry Rick)," Reedus said. "I love the way these characters interact and relate to each other on so many levels and can't wait to see where their ride goes from here."
It's been a long run for The Walking Dead, which kicked off in 2010, and blossomed into one of the biggest hits on all of TV.
McBride and Dixon have been a part of the series since it debuted, and are fan-favorites, so following them in a new series will be welcome news for the fans.
Andrew Lincoln, who was the lead for the first nine seasons, is also set to lead a trilogy of movies, and there are rumors that Danai Gurira will appear in them.
Gurira's exit as Michonne on The Walking Dead Season 10 set the stage for the character to go on a journey to find her long-lost love, who was initially presumed dead.
The first of the movies was supposed to enter production earlier this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic destroyed all hope of that.
Even The Walking Dead Season 10 could not finish out its episode order at AMC, with the final episode of the season being postponed.
Thankfully, AMC has scheduled the episode for October 4 as a standalone installment, and ordered another six episodes for the season, meaning that fans still have 31 episodes to look forward to.
The Walking Dead Season 10 Episode 16 will chart the final battle against the Whisperers, with the heroes trapped in an abandoned hospital.
With Beta and his horde arriving to cause death and destruction, it's down to the survivors to fight their way to safety.
The franchise will also live on with Fear the Walking Dead, which is set to debut its sixth season in October.
Little is known about the new season, but recent photos did confirm that Morgan (Lennie James) survived his brush with death on Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 16.
The Walking Dead: World Beyond, a second spinoff, is set to debut next month, but that series will have a limited run.
It will span 20 episodes.
The franchise is a viable one, and it makes sense to follow some of the most beloved characters in a new series.
It was previously announced that Lauren Cohan is returning to the series in the final episodes of the tenth season, and will be a series regular for the final season.
Despite the parent series concluding, there is still a lot to look forward to.
What are your thoughts on the decision to end the series?
Hit the comments below.
Remember you can watch The Walking Dead online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.