‘The Walking Dead’ Comic Con notes: Michonne leaving, Thora Birch, October 6 return, season 10 trailer
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 19: (L-R back) Ryan Hurst, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Avi Nash and Cooper Andrews (L-R front) Nadia Hilker, Melissa McBride, Cailey Fleming, Chris Hardwick, Danai Gurira and Eleanor Matsuura attend The Walking Dead Panel at Comic Con 2019 on July 19, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC)
AMC's "The Walking Dead," despite a creative resurgence season 9 under the watchful eye of new showrunner Angela Kang, couldn't stanch the ratings bleed.
Overnight ratings by the end of season 9 had fallen about 35 percent year over year and had plummeted by two thirds from just four years earlier. Even with on-demand making up for some of that loss, the drop in interest remains alarming.
But the show lives on and the hope is that the remaining fans stick around for season 11 as the Whisperers are now a living reality for the communities shaken by so many vicious deaths. The show returns October 6.
Comic Con provided a flood of news Friday, including the release of a four-minute trailer for the drama, shot in Senoia and the surrounding areas. “We are always watching,” said Samantha Morton’s character Alpha says in the trailer that was revealed at Comic Con.
“Fear is dangerous,” Michonne says. “It could drive us apart again.”
Negan, who is freed from prison to join in the fight: “If you don’t protect what belongs to you, sooner or later it belongs to someone else.”
Daryl: “Sometimes I think we just survive one fight to the next.”
There is bonding between Daryl and Carol and (gasp!) a kiss between King Ezekiel and Michonne. Carol also appears to be facing off directly with Alpha.
The trailer ends with Daryl calling Carl his best friend and Carol joking, “Should we have matching bracelets now?”
During Comic Con, it was also confirmed that Danai Guirera (Michonne) was leaving the show season 10, news that has been floating around for months.
"This has been one of the purest joys of my life to play this role and to be among these people and those that aren't here and you," Guirera told Comic Con fans. "I'm thankful in ways I can't express...My heart does not leave in any shape or form. The TWD family is forever...It was a very difficult decision. It's not connected to my heart, it was about my calling in a sense and other things I feel called to...I'm filled with a lot of pain and gratitude. I love you guys. I love this show. Thank you so much."
"American Beauty" star Thora Birch was also named a new cast member. Gamma is a Whisperer sentry fiercely protective of Alpha. She is a believer and committed to the Whisperers' way of life.
A lesser-known actor Kevin Carroll ("Snowfall") will play Virgil, a highly intelligent and resourceful man who is desperately trying to get home to his family.
“Fear the Walking Dead” gets a sixth season and a second “Walking Dead” spin off appears to have finished major casting.
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution including TV, radio, film, comedy and all things in between. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years. He loves tennis, pop culture & seeing live events.