'The Walking Dead' Renewed for 16-Episode Season Eight

Following seventh season, zombie saga to return in late 2017 with 16 more episodes

Ahead of answering their season-ending cliffhanger, AMC announced Sunday that 'The Walking Dead' will return for an eighth season in late-2017. Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Following a tormenting summer for Walking Dead fans, the victim of the zombie series' killer cliffhanger will finally be answered this coming Sunday. However, any suspense regarding the series' future has been eliminated as AMC announced that the show would return for its eighth season in late 2017.

During a two-hour Walking Dead retrospective that aired Sunday, the network revealed that Season Eight would feature 16 new episodes, with each new episode followed by the similarly renewed Chris Hardwick-hosted aftershow Talking Dead, The Hollywood Reporter writes.

"Eeny, meeny, miny, more," AMC president Charlie Collier said in a statement, referencing the infamous taunting by the villainous Negan during the Season Six cliffhanger. "What a joy to partner with Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple and some of the hardest-working people in television to bring The Walking Dead to the fans. And, most important, thanks to those fans for breathing life into this remarkable series right along with us."

AMC previously renewed The Walking Dead spinoff Fear the Walking Dead for a third season that will premiere in 2017.

After the harrowing Season Six finale – which promised that one member of the series' central cast will meet the barbed wire end of Negan's baseball bat – creator Robert Kirkman talked to Rolling Stone about the uproar over the agonizing cliffhanger.

"We knew that people might be upset, but come on! Everybody wants to see what happened. That's what a cliffhanger is," Kirkman said. "I'll probably get crucified for this, but I feel like there's a culture of instant gratification now: Netflix, social media, everything is on demand at all times. Nothing is withheld. You can't do 52 episodes a year. It's just not feasibly possible. If you can do something that has people talking about your show in that gap between seasons, that's great. We just ask that if you've enjoyed the show so far, just know, Season Seven is going to be pretty great."