Fresh off the news that Andrew Lincoln is to depart the show during its upcoming ninth season, now comes another blow for The Walking Dead.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, Lauren Cohan will also be leaving the genre juggernaut during its ninth year. To be fair, this one isn’t quite as surprising as Lincoln’s departure, for there has been plenty of rumblings lately the Cohan would be exiting the series. Following with what we’d heard last week, it seems as if the actress – who plays series mainstay Maggie – will only be appearing in six episodes of Season 9. Reportedly, Lincoln will also only be filming six episodes, too.
Once Cohan landed the lead role in ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier pilot earlier this year, many wondered how that would affect her participation in The Walking Dead. Still, the actress reportedly agreed to a new deal to return for the show’s ninth season and all appeared to be well for the future of Maggie Rhee. Now, THR suggests that a Walking Dead exit deal has been agreed once Whiskey Cavalier was picked up for a full series order.
It’s no secret that The Walking Dead has been in a rather steep ratings decline over the past several years, and many longtime fans have become, quite frankly, tired of this once-beloved series. Still, while ratings were certainly down, the viewing figures brought in were still huge numbers. Either way, many fans have been calling for some sort of change in The Walking Dead, although many were mainly talking about the narrative and pacing of the series. Instead, what we’ve now got is a situation where two of the show's mainstays, two of its key focal points, and two of its most popular characters are to depart the show.
On the flipside of this, Norman Reedus is being offered a huge wedge of cash to stay on as Daryl Dixon and take over the lead role previously held by Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes. If we’re being honest, it’s likely fair to say that Rick, Daryl, and Maggie have been the three biggest characters on the show for years now. So, having two of these leave the series – whether that’s killed off or something entirely different – is a major move that completely changes the landscape of The Walking Dead.
As ever, expect more on any and all things Walking Dead as we get it.