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AMC dropped a lot of jaws by announcing that its biggest longtime hit drama The Walking Dead now has an endgame in place, and will wrap up its many different storylines with an extended Season 11. But as big of a shock as that was, AMC had arguably more surprising news in announcing that its final season would be followed by a brand new spinoff centering solely on Norman Reedus' Daryl and Melissa McBride's Carol. But are the actors as pumped as fans are about the franchise's new direction?
Presumably, neither Norman Reedus nor Melissa McBride would have signed on for the spinoff if they weren't enthused about extending Daryl and Carol's storylines for at least one season of standalone episodes. (Although it would have been an interesting experiment for that to happen.) Here's what Reedus had to say about it in his statement:
I feel incredibly honored to be a part of The Walking Dead. This show changed my life and career and everyone involved has truly been a family for me over the last decade. I’m thankful for AMC’s love and support and know there’s so much more story to tell and so much more to bring the best fans in the world. Daryl’s relationship with Carol has always been my favorite relationship on the show (sorry Rick). I love the way these characters interact and relate to each other on so many levels and can’t wait to see where their ride goes from here.
To his point, Norman Reedus was probably most known for his leading role in the pair of Boondock Saints movies before he found mega-stardom as The Walking Dead's Daryl Dixon. That career shift is all the more noteworthy since Daryl is a character that was invented completely for the TV show, as opposed to originating in the comics. So it's completely understandable why the actor would want to stick with the character that turned him into a worldwide star.
It's not at all hard to believe that a lot of Daryl's appeal has lasted so long due to fans' fascination with his relationship with Carol. (Even Reedus knows that Andrew Lincoln's Rick takes a backseat in the BFF department.) So for them to eventually get their own series is a huge move forward, although Reedus isn't yet able to tease how their friendship might change or expand in the future. There are still more than two dozen episodes of the flagship series left to air, including the Season 10 finale, that could take Daryl and Carol to completely different places before the spinoff's storyline kicks off.
To that end, Melissa McBride talked about the mysterious side of Daryl and Carol's fondness for one another in her statement about the upcoming spinoff.
Of course, I’ve always enjoyed working so closely with Norman throughout these many seasons. In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I’ve also long been intrigued with ‘Daryl and Carol,’ and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound. Their shared history is long, and each’s own personal fight to survive, even longer – the more obvious aspect of what has kept them close and loyal. But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I’m very curious! Angela has a way of shaking things up in great and unexpected ways. She’s like a kid playing with the dimmer switch! I’m very excited!
It would be wild if the Daryl and Carol spinoff shifted away from being an emotionally wrought zombie drama, and tapped into other genres and showcased more absurd situations that wouldn't normally be seen on The Walking Dead. The show will almost definitely have other characters involved besides just those two, but I kinda do wish that it would just feature the pair bouncing from one location to the next, kind of like the Telltale video game series did.
Is everyone else as excited to watch Daryl and Carol leading their own series as Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride are? Granted, we'll potentially be waiting for three more years before that spinoff arrives, with Season 11 getting an extended 24-episode run to close things out. So even if you aren't excited yet, there's time. There's also time for AMC to order up a Negan and Maggie spinoff, which would likely end in the first five minutes with Maggie taking a bat to his face.
The Walking Dead will finally, albeit briefly, return to AMC for its Season 10 finale on Sunday, October 4, at 9:00 p.m. ET, to be followed by the series premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage, and be sure to bookmark our 2020 Fall TV premiere schedule to see what new and returning shows are on the way.