AMC Boss Hints Walking Dead Could Stick Around for '30, 40, 50 Years'

Here’s hoping Rick Grimes has a good retirement plan.

During a conference call with Wall Street analysts on Thursday, AMC CEO Josh Sapan hinted that the The Walking Dead could stay on the air for years — if not decades. “The use of the word ‘franchise,’ we don’t take lightly,” the exec said, per our sister site Deadline. “It’s not a sloppy or casual word. We’ve studied the best. Some have been around 30, 40, 50 years. We have a chance for a lot of life in the franchise.” (UPDATE: An AMC insider stresses that Sapan was referring to the franchise as a whole and not specifically the mothership series.)

Despite experiencing some ratings erosion of late, The Walking Dead remains a force to reckon with in its current eighth season. The drama returned last month to 11.4 million total viewers and a 5.0 demo rating, down dramatically (by 33 and 40 percent) from Season 7’s record-setting premiere but on par with its April finale (and good enough to retain its title as TV’s top scripted series).

What do you think? Do you think there’s enough life in Dead to sustain a multi-decade run? Hit the comments!