AMC has officially renewed Fear the Walking Dead for a fourth season, ahead of the upcoming Season 3 premiere with a significant creative shakeup behind the scenes. As was recently announced, series co-creator Dave Erickson will depart AMC’s The Walking Dead companion series at the end of Season 3 to create new content for the network, and in addition to the renewal, today brings the announcement that a new pair of co-showrunners are stepping in for him.
Once Upon a Time producers Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg will take over the series starting with Season 4. Additionally, The Walking Dead EP and showrunner Scott M. Gimple has been added to the creative lineup as an executive producer. Gimple joins his Walking Dead cohorts Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, and David Alpert on the EP team.
“We are thrilled to be joining ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ and couldn’t be more excited to work alongside the wonderful team at AMC on this show,” said Chambliss and Goldberg in a statement. “We love this universe and are truly honored to have the chance to contribute to it.”
While Fear hasn’t quite become a culture and ratings juggernaut on the level of its record-breaking forbear, the series has firmly established a base of its own as one of the top shows on cable. The second half of Season 2 averaged 5.3 million viewers and 3 million among adults 18-49 in the live+3 (aka three-day delay viewing window) ratings.
What I’ve always loved about Fear the Walking Dead is the way that Erickson keeps the drama grounded in family, faith, and the shifting dynamics of social upheaval. The series has batted 1000 the whole way, but it’s been an exciting spin on The Walking Dead mythos that allows for a shared world and common themes, but a completely original narrative and creative direction. To be blunt, Fear the Walking Dead is a show that plays for integrity and emotional honesty where The Walking Dead often opts for gut punches and melodrama. I’ll be interested to see how much of that is maintained once Erickson’s off the project, and if Gimple’s creative presence will have as major an effect as it did on The Walking Dead.
Fear the Walking Dead will return to AMC for Season 3 on June 4.