Andrew Lincoln to reportedly leave The Walking Dead during upcoming Season 9

Eloise Marshall
May 30, 2018

According to the writeup, Lincoln is expect to appear in only six episodes of the next season, after which his character will apparently be gone for good.

Andrew Lincoln is reportedly leaving the series after next season. 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.

The Walking Dead Season 9 will return for Season 9 in the fall.

It seems odd to plan an expensive spinoff rollout without the show's biggest star, though perhaps the network is looking for some new blood. AMC's version opened on Rick and his story, and continued to make him the ongoing plot's principal focus in all the seasons that followed. Cohan's contract negotiations with AMC stalled, leading her instead to sign on to the new ABC series Whiskey Cavalier. His departure makes room for longtime co-star Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, to take the lead role.

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Like Cohan, Lincoln will be phased out over the coming season.

The departure of Lincoln's Rick would be momentous in terms of the character's prominence in the show and also his longevity.

Another popular character, Morgan Jones (Lennie James), left The Walking Dead after Season 8, moving to sister series Fear the Walking Dead in the first character crossover between the two shows. Let him find love, peace, anything, because a brutal death would be too much for even this show. The other is fan-favorite Carol, played by Melissa McBride. Former showrunner Scott Gimple recently stepped down at the end of season eight and will be succeeded by veteran TWD writer Angela Kang.

Lincoln, Reedus, Lauren Cohan, and Danai Gurira are all set to return for series nine, which is now in production. While the show has lost its fair share of stars over the past eight seasons, saying goodbye to the main heartbeat of the series would be its toughest challenge yet.

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