Published: Wed, May 30, 2018
Culture&Arts | By Rick Owen

Andrew Lincoln exiting The Walking Dead in season 9

Andrew Lincoln exiting The Walking Dead in season 9

According to both Collider and Entertainment Weekly, by the end of The Walking Dead season nine, actor Andrew Lincoln will have bowed out. For anyone who's avidly been following the show since its premiere in 2010, this is a huge bummer-as perhaps the only comparably cool character on the show is Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon. Andrew Lincoln has every right to want to hang up his cowboy hat once and for all, and TWD is going to continue finding a way to craft new stories and introduce new characters. With Reedus also working for AMC for Ride with Norman Reedus, the guy has earned a serious pay bump.

News that Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead comes as the franchise is poised to reinvent itself again in season nine with Angela Kang becoming the show's fourth showrunner and replacing Gimple.

Lincoln is expected to appear in just six new episodes, less than half of the 16 installments booked. Earlier this year, The Walking Dead went away from its comic book source material, killing off Rick's one-eyed son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), after he was bitten by a walker. Lauren Cohan, who was recently confirmed to return after holding out for a better deal, could also be featured in a more prominent role when the series returns.

The Walking Dead has said goodbye to plenty of significant characters over its eight-season run, but it may be about to suffer its biggest loss yet: former sheriff's deputy and survivor leader Rick Grimes.

He has been the driving force behind The Walking Dead for the past eight seasons. Lincoln's continued role on the show had never been in question until now. The other is fan-favorite Carol, played by Melissa McBride. The six episodes could be stretched out through all of season nine. If the show sticks to its tried-and-tested (see: predictable) formula, this nearly certainly means Rick will kick the bucket in the mid-season finale.

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