AMC Thinks ‘The Walking Dead’ Could Last as Long as ‘Star Trek’

Photo Credit: AMC
September 26th, 2016

There’s no denying that The Walking Dead has become the definitive version of the zombie subgenre for horror TV. Since it premiered in 2010, it’s seeped into popular culture in a way that most broadcast networks wish their shows would. The AMC CEO and network president Josh Sapan thinks it can go even farther though.

Sapan was one of the executives that gathered for the Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference last week. The Conference, hosted annually by Goldman Sachs, brings together leaders in media and telecommunications to discuss trends and the state of business. There on behalf of AMC, Sapan made a pretty bold statement regarding The Walking Dead, which is the network’s most popular series.

He told the gathered representatives that the show, which is nearing the debut of its seventh season, “has incredible long life left in it,” and compared it to the enduring popularity of Star Trek saying, “[Star Trek] came and went three times. We do think that we have a franchise [in The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead] that is one of the rare franchises that you occasionally come across in what we do for a living.”

Star Trek just celebrated its 50th anniversary of its television launch, though it’s definitely had more than three incarnations. The show was initially canceled after its first season before it was picked up by another network. After movies followed the original series, spin off series were greenlit that included Star Trek: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. The most recent movies are set in a different continuity than that original series, and CBS has a new series on the way that will stream on their digital platform.

Of course, The Walking Dead had a significantly different start on television than Star Trek did since it had a fan base born of the graphic novels that inspired the series before it launched. Star Trek didn’t receive any form of comic books until after the original series had aired, allowing it to expand its fanbase.

AMC has already started feeling out franchise potential as spin off series Fear The Walking Dead, set in California and Mexico compared to the Georgia and Virginia of the mothership series, is winding down its second season now. The spin off hasn’t garnered quite as much attention as the original, but it’s providing a new point of view for the events of a zombie apocalypse, and further attempts to expand on the franchise would likely do the same.

You can catch Fear The Walking Dead as it closes out its second season on AMC on Sundays at 9PM. The Walking Dead will take over the timeslot on October 23. If you’re not caught up on events of the show, it is available to stream on Netflix and the first six seasons are available on DVD and blu-ray.