It seems fan outcry and low ratings of The Walking Dead are finally being addressed. Angela Kang will be the show’s fourth showrunner.

Variety reports that The Walking Dead has been renewed for a ninth season, and this renewal brings some behind-the-scenes changes.

Gimple out (sort of)

Scott Gimple, showrunner for The Walking Dead since season 4, has been promoted to oversee The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and any potential brand extensions. This move also means that The Walking Dead ship needs a new captain, and Gimple has passed the torch to Angela Kang.

Said Gimple, “As the show closes in on its tenth year, I’m honored to keep working with the talented, dedicated people behind and in front of the camera to make it all it can be, while expanding the world of The Walking Dead with new narratives like Fear the Walking Dead and a whole host of truly cool stories ahead. Angela is a big part of the heart and soul of The Walking Dead, and I’m thrilled to help facilitate her vision of the show’s next era.”

Kang in

Kang has been a part of The Walking Dead‘s universe since season 2, beginning as a story editor and writer. In season 3 she became a producer, and was again promoted to co-executive producer in season 5. She has written for every season, apart from season 1, including season 2’s “Judge, Jury, Executioner,” and season 7’s “The Cell.”

Kang is “beyond thrilled” to take on this new role.

“Working on this series and having the opportunity to adapt Robert Kirkman’s amazing comic has been a fangirl dream come true for me,” said Kang. “I’m excited to continue working with Scott and the wonderfully supportive folks at AMC, and can’t wait to share the next chapter of the story with our fans next fall.”

But why?

These changes are likely due to some record lows in ratings on both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Presumably the thought is that a shift in leadership will bring new ideas to The Walking Dead and help assuage fans who have been less than satisfied with the show’s current direction.

AMC has also been combatting fan criticism on Fear the Walking Dead. In an effort to set the series on a new and improved path, last year it was announced that Walking Dead character Morgan would be joining Fear, and Gimple would join season 4 as executive producer.

Now it seems his attentions could be split between both properties more evenly, given his shifting role within the franchise.

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