Andrew Lincolin is leaving The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus could get $20 million

Spoilers for past and future Walking Dead episodes follow
The Walking Dead’s showrunner, Scott M. Gimple, made the decision this past season to kill off Carl Grimes, the son of leader Rick Grimes, and an integral part of the source comics to date. The fact that Gimple killed off a character beloved by fans and cast possibly led to his replacement as showrunner by staff writer Angela Kang. Gimple wasn’t penalized at all for that unpopular decision, he instead got promoted to head up the entire WD franchise.

Many people wondered how Alexandria’s leader Rick would go on and what his motivation would be now that his son and heir apparent was gone. (He still has baby Judith, and he’s motivated to protect her despite the fact that he knows she’s not his biological child.) It turns out we won’t have to worry too much about how Rick will fare without Carl because actor Andrew Lincoln is leaving TWD after next season. This is framed as Lincoln’s idea, and it would have to be because TWD wouldn’t be dumb enough to cut their leader loose, although that’s hard to call given all the beloved characters they’ve killed to date. Apparently Lincoln wants to spend more time with his family in London.

We’re hearing that, by the end of Season 9 of AMC’s hit drama series The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes himself will be walking away. That’s right TWD enthusiasts, Andrew Lincoln will be growling his way through the post-apocalyptic setting for just one more season before calling it quits. And while we won’t be spoiling just how the series’ founding character makes his exit, we do know that fans can only expect to see Lincoln in half-a-dozen episodes of the upcoming season.

Any time a major character from the show shuffles off this mortal coil (or heads to a spin-off series), it’s a big deal, but for the characters who have been there from the beginning like Rick Grimes & Co., their loss is catastrophic. We saw that effect when Chandler Riggs left the show just last season and we’ll likely see an even bigger fan fallout when Lincoln leaves in Season 9. To fill the void in the show’s leading man status, we’re also hearing that AMC has offered substantial compensation to long-running series star Norman Reedus to not only stay on board, but to take over the show’s leading role. – From Collider

Star Andrew Lincoln, who has played beleaguered former sheriff Rick Grimes since the show’s premiere, will exit the AMC zombie drama in its upcoming ninth season, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter. Meanwhile, co-star Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl, is in the midst of negotiating a rich new deal that will pay him more than $20 million as he will become the new No. 1 on the call sheet.

Sources say Lincoln will be phased out in season nine in a fashion similar to co-star Lauren Cohan, who will film only six episodes of the series. Cohan, who pays Maggie, opted to exit the highly rated AMC drama and booked the lead in ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier after her efforts to renegotiate a new deal to stay on The Walking Dead went south. After ABC picked up Whiskey Cavalier to series for a midseason bow, it closed the door on Cohan’s full-time return to the series — even if she had closed a new deal. AMC declined comment. – From THR

[From Collider and THR]

As THR reports in the excerpt above, Maggie, played by Lauren Cohan, is also leaving. She got a gig on a new ABC show called Whiskey Cavalier and co-starring Scott Foley. Apparently her contract talks did not go well, which is not surprising. Among the main cast that leaves Daryl, played by Norman Reedus, who is about to write his own ticket, and Michonne, played by Danai Gurira. $20 million is a huge amount of money and puts Reedus’ salary up near the cast of Big Bang Theory, but since he’ll be one of the last core characters standing he can ask for that kind of money. Gurira is a movie star now with her success on Black Panther. She doesn’t need this show and I hope they gave her a fat raise too. (While I’ve heard rumors that Gurira is leaving too after the next season too, Deadline reports that there is “no word if… Gurira will be staying past Season 9.”) This just goes to show how much an arrogant showrunner can mess up an easy formula and beloved series. Gimple has said that they’re aiming for 20 seasons and this show is still one of the biggest hits on TV, even after a ratings slump. How long are they going to try to milk it with Daryl at the helm? Why can’t Michonne take over instead?


Photos credit: Gene Page/AMC Some tweets via Buzzfeed

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31 Responses to “Andrew Lincolin is leaving The Walking Dead, Norman Reedus could get $20 million”

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  1. Lisa Giametti says:

    Yes! I will finally be rid of Rick Grimes!

    Love him in the comic books. Hate him on the show.

    P.S- Scott Gimple is no longer the showrunner. It is Angela King.

    • enike says:

      scott gimple did so many mistakes, that even the big improvements by Angela king cant reverse some long time bad decisions

  2. Gutterflower says:

    I stopped watching this show in season 4. How on earth will they stretch it to 20?? Shows need to get in and get out so they don’t suck. Banshee was only 3 seasons and it was a GREAT show.

  3. Patricia says:

    When Rick goes I go.
    The last season was realllllly wearing on me. Too much running around with guns. It got stale. People shooting at people gets old fast when I’m here for a zombie show.
    The last episode was amazing and brought me back to everything I loved about this show in previous seasons. But I’ll be ready to leave the show when Rick goes for sure.

  4. BlueSky says:

    Danai is also a Tony nominated playwright…

  5. JeanGray says:

    The show is dead and Daryl and Carol cannot save it.

    Lauren Cohan and Andy Lincoln know the show has jumped the shark and are smart enough to leave a sinking ship. Scott Gimple has ruined a show I used to love and thought was one of the best on TV next to Game of Thrones.

    The show has become a Telenovela with it’s ridiculousness. The Negan storyline was drawn out and JDM’s portrayal was annoying. Too. Many. Damn. Monologues! Rick always yelling he’s gonna kill him yet never can, with all of his police and post-apocalyptic training he still can’t manage to get a good shot. Daryl’s character has regressed into a bumbling idiot, Michonne and Rosita seem to all have forgotten their training and look like amateurs. The Carl thing. Ugh. Carol is pretty much the only character I even care for anymore at this point. I only hate-watch now. It’s very disappointing and it needs to end.

    • Mgsota says:

      Yes to everything you said! They should make the next season the last season. Just do one really good final season. To be honest, I don’t care how unrealistic or cheesy but I would love everything to be wrapped up in a pretty little bow.

      • JeanGray says:

        Yep. I could see Rick being gone had they not killed off Carl. Carl was supposed to take up the mantle and they didn’t even have to use Chandler Riggs since the comic does a time jump and he’s a grown man. They could have gotten a better actor to be able to carry the show. Also, the narrative has become such a copy and paste. Every season it’s a new bad guy they have to deal with. It was much more interesting when they had to adapt to their new world either by trying to find out what was causing the Zombie outbreak, learning to stay ahead of the herds, and when they had to deal with the whole contagion that was killing off people. I’d honestly like to see it end with some type of resolution with the zombie outbreak.

  6. Nancy says:

    Well aren’t they happy to ruin our Sunday night parties. Either follow the comic book or not….had to brutally kill Glenn, but go away from scrip and kill Carl. Daryl has always been my fav, but I doubt even he can save the day. RIP WD.

  7. Onemoretime says:

    As we all know AMC Is extremely cheap and greedy and its highly doubtful Reedus or anyone on an AMC project will make that kind of money. Plus Reedus does not have the acting chops to carry that show. Yes I am biased because Andrew Lincoln brought me to the world of the Walking Dead after falling in love with him on Teachers. I hope Danai leaves as well, she is a movie star, award winnning play write and all around beautiful person.
    AMC just end it after this season no one want to see the Daryl and Negan god awful show. I’ve been watching since season 1 episode 1 and without Rick Grimes this show is done.
    Good bye sexy bow legged sheriff bae with out you I will definitely not be watching any more.

    • Marley31 says:

      I use to live for Sun but since this news I now realize I’m gonna have to find something else to watch. With Carl gone and now Rick this season will be my last. I like Michone character but her character had attachment to Carl and Rick and Its not gonna be the same😭😭😭 and when they killed the Tiger 😭😭 I tried to give it another chance but No More I’m done. No Rick no me

  8. Lila says:

    I personally think the show has run its course either end it on a high ratings note or totally reboot the whole cast in a different location.

  9. Penfold says:

    I don’t blame him. He’ll have put nine years into this show- that’s quite a bit. As others have said, the quality isn’t the same as it once was. He must be eager to move on to other roles and go home to England.

    I think the show should end after season 10. That’s a nice round number.

    Daryl- he’s fine as Rick’s number two, but I can’t see him as a leader. Maybe maybe I could if they bring Carol back to Alexandria and she kind of co-leads with him, but him on his own is just a mumbly mess.

    And I hope to hell they don’t try to put Negan in a leadership role in Alexandria. I hate that guy.

    I will miss Rick and Michone together. They are one of my favorite tv couples.

  10. KBeth says:

    I love Reedus & Lincoln but I stopped watching 3 seasons ago because it’s just gotten so terrible.
    I briefly gave it another chance after the addition of sexy JDM but his character was just annoying. Is he still alive by the way?

  11. QueenB says:

    I think Lincoln was pretty close to Chandler who plays his son on the show. He must have been furious how they screwed a kid over so hard. Not like they didnt do it with the series creator Darabont. Then the Cohan stuff etc.

    I cant see why anyone in the future would want to make business with AMC.

  12. LoriLogan says:

    So glad I stopped watching a season or 2 ago. Writing was terrible and so many episodes were just fillers with literally nothing to push the show forward. Don’t know how it’s survived this long.

  13. Lucy says:

    Most of the cast members were quite upset about Chandler Riggs forcefully leaving the show, and Andrew was certainly no exception. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he wants out.

    • Nancy says:

      Right. They’re so inconsistent. First they want to follow the comics so there goes Glenn & Co. The Negan storyline is pretty much the way the comics are. Michonne and Rick aren’t a couple in the comics. And, of course, Carl. He plays a huge part in the comics as well as Rick and Negan. So the writers mucked it all up. I heard Andrew and Jeffrey aren’t the best of friends. It irritated Jeffrey that Andy insisted upon staying in character at all times. It led to some bad blood between them. If the show were good enough, it could survive without Rick, but he has been the heart and soul of the show.

    • Isabelle says:

      If they hadn’t took out Carl, it would be a good stroytelling to have him takeover from his father but here we are with an even worse show. The writers, show runners for TWD are just awful creatively.

  14. Courtney says:

    AMC and channels like that shouldn’t have their own shows in the first place they were designed to be first run movie channels the initials AMC for example stand for American Movie Classics. the show is a limited run series 16 episodes per season airing from October to April so it reached syndication eligibility at the beginning of season 6 where as the Simpsons reached 100 episodes at season 5 ep 19 and is now the third longest running primetime show in number of episodes that not sports or news #1 is Cops with More than 1000 episodes #2 is The Red Skelton Hour with 672 episodes Simpsons currently has 639 # 4 is Gunsmoke with 635 episodes #5 is Kraft Theater with 525 episodes

  15. OnyxXV says:

    Stick a fork in it. It’s done! Even with as bad as the show became under Gimple, I have still been watching because I love, love, love Andrew Lincoln. Even though he inexplicably lost the ability to aim a gun at any target, Rick Grimes was still my favorite. I cannot imagine the show without him, it will hold very little if any interest for me.

  16. Isabelle says:

    Who would have thought in Season 1 the only survivors from Season 1 would be Daryl and Carol & Morgan on another show.

  17. M.A.F. says:

    Well, when you don’t have an end game in play this is what happens. At least the show-runners over at GOT knew the answers to some of the big questions & were working towards an end game despite the fact that GRR Martin can’t (or won’t) finish the book series. I might tune back in just to watch the Rick episodes, I’m sure I didn’t miss much & would be able to follow the story line.

  18. Maum says:

    It seems the showrunners are in love with Negan and his ridiculous penis monologues.
    They’re working on a redemption arc where Negan becomes the new Rick.

    I could see Maggie killing Rick to avenge Glenn, then Negan killing her to avenge Rick.

    Is Danai seriously staying on? She was once a badass awesome character. Now she barely features.

    What a waste of a series.

  19. Sage says:

    When Shane died the show was over.

  20. Totally old says:

    When Rick leaves, so will i. Show wI’ll be nothing without Andrew. No way csn Daryl take over as leader. He can barely manage to bathe, if ever, and certainly doesn’t have what it takes to be a leader. Ugh. I really dislike Scott Gimple, he ruined a really good TV series.

  21. Mina says:

    Andrew Lincoln has been done with TWD for a long time and he’s been somewhat open about it. It’s been too time consuming, he hasn’t been able to do almost anything else since the show started, and I think he also knows it’s not as good as it was when it started. Hopefully Season 9 will be the last season of this show, before they drive it into the ground for good, but somehow I doubt AMC is ready to let go.

  22. Summer says:

    Fear the Walking Dead is so much better than WD. Even their worst season (2) is still better than the last two years of WD. I just hope that they don’t ruin Fear as well.

    • IMUCU says:

      Gimple is already ruining FTWD. That show started off a little weak/goofy, but really came into it’s own and got good. This new season has been bad and I have been “hate” watching it this season (and TWD since Carl died). It really irks me how AMC and the show writers suck up to Gimple as he has driven TWD and, now, FTWD into the ground (actors are leaving that show too). I hate all the incessant flashbacks that are Gimple’s hallmark, they are so over used and add nothing to the story. Gimple hasn’t even been appearing on Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick probably because of how universally he has become disliked by the viewing audience (and he used to come on fairly regularly). I’ve never been mad about something regarding television, but Gimple actually makes me angry. TWD will probably get two more seasons before it’s cancelled; next one for Rick’s demise and then a final limping-along season. FTWD will not be far behind if it keeps going along as it is. While I’m late to the GOT fandom, it really is the consistently best show out there (I’ve been watching it on DVD).

  23. Pandy says:

    The Negan storyline depressed the hell out of me. Still watched it faithfully but I was running out of steam with it this year. Sorry to see Rick go!!! Maggie has become a bore. One note acting – Maggie is angry again! I will watch to see how they write out Rick but that might finish it for me.