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AMC CEO Thinks The Walking Dead Is So Awesome It Will Go On Forever

This…this is just…wow. 

AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan spoke at the Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference recently about The Walking Dead.

“We hope that zombies live forever, and we’ve just begun to find out what the post-apocalyptic world is like, so that we’ll be sitting here at the Barclays conference in 2022 discussing the fact that ‘Walking Dead’ is not over,” he said. “At that point, I think any one of the companies will have replaced the United States government and we’ll be in a complete free enterprise world in which there are no nations.”

I’m not sure what tone this was all said it but it sounds super weird to me. Like, he might be taking this apocalypse thing a bit too seriously. And I’m not quite sure what he means by “companies.”

Another weird thing is, Sapan mentioned AMC hit shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad and how they would end, but somehow The Walking Dead is exempt from the normal flow of television. Because…zombies? I don’t know.

“We’ll all suffer from some minor heartbreak when these shows come to a natural close. Like some of the best shows in history, there will be a mantle that exists sort of virtually in people’s minds, and in the world maybe they’ll actually put a statue somewhere,” he said of the two other shows. “We will bring them to a close with the people who created them at the right time.”

I’m a bit biased in all of this because I’ve been disappointed with the show for a while but its ratings are strong, the finale had 12.4 million viewers. How long do you think the series could conceivably run? Robert Kirkman’s Image comic is still going strong after all but 2022 might be a bit of a stretch. Just imagine what middle-aged Carl would be like! Or an elderly Carl who can’t actually leave the house and uses a walker to fight off walkers!

(The Hollywood Reporter via MTV)

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  • Anonymous

    So it will just be season after season of a steadily dwindling group of characters going on an aimless journey from horrible situation to horrible situation without hope of a conclusion?

    I take it back, the show IS just like the comics.

  • Jericho McCune

    Jill, I generally love the articles you write, but as you’ve admitted that you can’t stand the TV show and are “99% sure I’m not going to be watching next season”, why don’t you pass of writing about the show to someone that actually does like it?

    This article came across as if you were too bitter to focus. I know you aren’t normally the type to make a mistake like “somehow The Walking Dead is except from the normal flow” where “except” is meant to be “exempt”, but in this case it feels like you couldn’t be bothered to care enough to even reread and edit your own article. I know it’s nitpicky, but my point is that people that read fansites expect articles that are written by… well… fans.

  • AnnaB

    Not speaking for Jill, but I think Jill was a fan of the show before it started to really disappoint her. I would personally think it a bit disingenuous if she suddenly turned over the writing about this show over to someone else because she’s no longer happy with the show itself. That said, I would welcome an outside opinion from someone who is still a fan of the show–just for a fresh perspective. I admit, the show has gotten terribly stale for me too.

    And on yet another hand, the CEO’s perspective kind of explains a lot.

  • Jill Pantozzi

    Or, a typo is just a typo. Sorry you didn’t like my tone but we don’t have a huge staff and I write posts when I need to write posts.

  • Jericho McCune

    I understand what you’re saying, but it seriously makes me want to avoid reading anything about The Walking Dead on this site, because I know it’s just going to have an element of complaining in it.

    For example, in the season finale recap she linked to, her big complaint at the end of the recap is that the Governor will be back. “Another season in which they have to face-off, or at least be wary of, the same villain.” Seriously, the complaint is that the villain will be around for two seasons? Isn’t that most shows on television? She must have really hated Star Wars, knowing that it took them three whole movies to finally get rid of Darth Vader. Or the X-Men comics, because Magneto just won’t go away. Since the Governor is probably guaranteed to die during season four, his life expectancy is about what it was in the source material. How is this such a huge problem?

    As a fan of the comics, shouldn’t she expect the Governor to last two seasons, since he lasted nearly 25 issues in the books? It seems like complaining for complaining’s sake. As if she’s saying “I hate the changes they’re making from the books, but why aren’t they making the changes I want!”

  • Jill Pantozzi

    “She must have really hated Star Wars, knowing that it took them three whole movies to finally get rid of Darth Vader.”

    Really? REALLY?

    Come on, dude. I explained exactly why I didn’t like the Governor sticking around and it was because I didn’t like what they did with him all season. Don’t see why that bothers you so much. You like it, that’s fantastic! I wish I still did.

  • Jericho McCune

    I understand where you’re coming from. I also stated in my original post that I assumed it was a typo. What bothered me was that it was so glaring that I expected someone of your caliber to fix it before it was posted. It just comes across as “I hate the show, so why bother.”

    I won’t belabor the point, because I don’t want to rile you any more. I only started reading The Mary Sue because you’re a writer here. I’ll stick to reading non-Walking Dead articles from this point on, and continue to enjoy you writing about things you love.

  • cinemacrazed

    Fact is, the show is a huge hit, and there are potentially hundreds of stories that can be told. The show is fantastic, and I hope it goes on for a long time.

  • Magic Xylophone

    Boy, too bad this guy isn’t running Game of Thrones.

    …Oh wait, I meant thank God this guy isn’t running Game of Thrones.

  • Anonymous

    The reality is that not everyone is going to like the same things you like. As long as she is being fair and intelligent in her analysis, which I believe she has, then there really isn’t a problem with her continuing to report on Walking Dead news.

    In regards to this specific bit of news, I think it was a strange series of comments from Sapan. Maybe he was speaking as more of a fanboy than a CEO, but I’m sure even he realizes that all shows have an expiration date. The ratings will dictate when The Walking Dead will wrap up.

  • Jericho McCune

    You’re right. The thing is, I never said she should like it, I suggested she pass off the responsibility to someone else because I know she doesn’t like it.

    I don’t think she’s being fair on certain aspects, and I chose to voice my opinion on that. I never said that her reporting on The Walking Dead was a problem, I just expressed that I think it would behoove readers if she passed the responsibility on to someone that’s still a fan because, in my OPINION, it comes across poorly. Other fans may not have the same opinion. The reality is, not everyone is going to agree on everything. Fortunately, we live in a world where opinions can be shared.

    She made it clear that it isn’t always possible for someone with a positive perspective to cover those stories – she writes what she needs to write. I respect that. I don’t enjoy reading negatively biased articles on anything I’m a fan of, so I’ll avoid said articles and continue to read the large amount of other writing that she does, because even if I disagree with her on this topic I’m still one of her biggest fans.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    Though this is irrelevant to the larger issue, I would just like to point out that, of the three full-time Mary Sue writers, Susana doesn’t watch The Walking Dead, and Jill and I were both incredibly disappointed by the last season.

    This isn’t an instance of recapping or reviewing something one already knows one does not like. It’s a news story. People writing about things they don’t necessarily like is a thing that happens.

  • Jericho McCune

    Duly noted! I didn’t mean for this to turn into such a huge deal. I opened my mouth too wide. I should have stopped at the first post. :(

    I’d be happy to ghost write next season’s recaps for free if neither of you want to tune in. It wouldn’t be the first time Jill has inspired me to write something:

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t say that you believe she should like the show, I said that you are being intolerant to her perspective on the show. Suggesting she’s not fit to write about Walking Dead because she doesn’t like it is the problem and that’s what I pointed out; critics and journalists write about things that they don’t personally like all the time – it’s part of their job. They are able to do this because they can overcome their personal feelings in order to be as intelligent and as objective as necessary to accomplish their job. She doesn’t have a grudge against it, she just doesn’t think it’s very good. And that’s a view that’s very common among critics.

    And it’s not that she’s not being fair that is bothering you, it’s that she has a different opinion of the show than you and like many fans you are getting too defensive about it. If you think she should pass on the responsibility for writing about the show because she doesn’t think it’s as good as it could be, then you do indeed think her reporting is a problem. A critic’s job is not to agree with you, it’s to give an objective, intelligent analysis of a property.

    And please do not use the “opinion” card to try to deflect criticism of your post. Just like you have opinions, Jill and everyone else in the Mary Sue community also have opinions, and they’re just as valid as yours.

    Just admit that the problem is that you don’t like it when someone says something negative about a property that you love and move along. You always have the option of finding a writer that loves the show as much as you do.

  • Jericho McCune

    Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, is it? I’ve admitted from the VERY FIRST POST that my problem was that she didn’t like the show, but I’ve never, in any way, shape or form, said she “isn’t fit to write about it.” I thought I stated fairly clearly that my opinion was that someone that doesn’t like a show shouldn’t write about a show for a site that caters to FANS OF THE SHOW.

    Perhaps if you bothered to actually read what you’re commenting on, you could comment without projecting your own belief of what another person is thinking into your writing. Hell, you couldn’t even cite your own words properly. You certainly weren’t able to figure out that your suggestion that I find a different writer and move on was already covered TWICE. BY ME.

    Instead, you decided to be a jackass and pour more fuel on the fire. That’s classy. As classy as putting words in other people’s mouths, and deciding how they should think based on absolutely no knowledge of their person.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    I’m going to use, “Do you still watch The Walking Dead?” as a litmus test in future conversations. AMC’s CEO is crap.

  • Anonymous

    OK, you’ve confirmed my suspicion that you don’t know how to have a conversation. First, you are the one that repeatedly misread my posts (though I suspect you merely just scanned them quickly). Second, you can’t tolerate the idea that there are people in the world who don’t share your same views. And you resort to childish name calling and all-caps ranting which is Trolling 101.

    Your two problems are these: 1) your belief that if a writer disagrees with your viewpoints they should not write about that subject, which is an entitled, juvenile attitude to take (not to mention extremely disrespectful to the writer that provides you with that content), and 2) as I said before, you cannot handle viewpoints that differ from your own world view, which is a sad way to live your life.

    So, since you seem to be confused about the point of this website, and about what the editors/writers owe you (or, more appropriately, what they don’t owe you), and since you clearly do not have the temperament or the words to converse like an adult, how about you just move on and create your own site where you can do all the writing and not have to worry about other opinions. And I can move on and not have to clog up this thread with another post about how deluded you seem to be about how this site is supposed to work.

  • Nun Ya

    The Walking Dead could easily become a universe for other stories just like Star Trek. It could go forever with the right handling.

  • Anonymous

    “Just imagine what middle-aged Carl would be like! Or an elderly Carl who can’t actually leave the house and uses a walker to fight off walkers!”

    2022 is 9 years away. Carl is what, 13? It’s going to take a lot longer to get to that point.

  • nypher1029

    “At that point, I think any one of the companies will have replaced the United States government and we’ll be in a complete free enterprise world in which there are no nations.”
    I keep trying to wrap my head around this. 2022 is only nine years away. Is Rupert Murdoch or Ted Turner planning on buying the US Government? Does this CEO know something? Way to fuel my nightmares.
    If Rupert Murdoch does buy the US Government, I’m pretty sure we can stage a successful coupe with Browncoats.

  • cloudywolf

    I’d rather see Breaking Bad last until 2022 instead of TWD.

  • nypher1029

    It took me awhile, but I realize he must mean On The Show. Yeah. I swear to you that I am reasonably smart.

  • Herbert West

    Yes. Let’s only have people who like things write about said things. Because that’s differing opinions are bad. Cthulhu forbid that people could review things in a less-than-stellar light.

  • Herbert West

    Look, some people are going to review things you like in a more negative way. DWI

  • Herbert West

    “a site that caters to FANS OF THE SHOW”

    I’m sorry? Not everybody who visits TMS is a fan of the show. Guess what, I love the comics, and I liked S1 of the show. I disliked the rest. Are you saying I should GTFO because this site doesn’t cater to me since I’m not a fan?