Some pretty shocking news has just come out as Collider is reporting that Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes in AMC’s The Walking Dead will be leaving the show after the ninth season. Furthermore, it appears that the character will only be appearing in six episodes of the upcoming season, leading the site to comment that show star Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl Dixon, will be taking over as the show’s lead. Considering just how popular Daryl has been over the years (who remembers the whole, “If Daryl dies, we riot” thing?), this is probably the smartest move for the series if it hopes to retain viewership, which has steadily been losing viewers since the fifth season.
The show took a serious blow after Chandler Riggs, aka Carl “Coral” Grimes, was killed off, so it’s going to be very interesting to see how Rick’s departure will be handled.
Additionally, Lauren Cohan has been holding out for a better contract, which may very well happen after the eighth season finale. However, she too will only be appearing in six of the ninth season’s episodes.
The ninth season of The Walking Dead will most likely premiere sometime this Fall.