THE WALKING DEAD will be moving on without its star in Season 9.
[WARNING: Minor spoilers for THE WALKING DEAD Season 9]
The Walking Dead started out as the journey of Rick Grimes as he desperately tried to save his son from the zombie apocalypse, with the show expanding into a much bigger cast of characters along the way. Rick lost his son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), in Season 8 and now, Andrew Lincoln–Rick himself– will be saying goodbye.
Collider exclusively reported the news and while the publication doesn’t know exactly how the character will go out, Lincoln will reportedly be featured in only six episodes of the upcoming season. The reason for his exit was not given and there have been no official statements released by AMC or Andrew Lincoln at this time. AMC struck a similar six-episode deal with Lauren Cohan aka Maggie Rhee, who quite publicly fought for a better contract and will soon star in ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier.
Allegedly, AMC means to have Norman Reedus‘ Daryl Dixon take over as the show’s lead character. We wouldn’t quite call it “jumping the shark,” but maybe it’s time for the network to consider wrapping up the story cohesively while they’re ahead.
The Walking Dead Season 9 is expected back this fall.