‘The Walking Dead’ showrunner discusses how Andrew Lincoln’s exit will be treated

The actor will leave the show by the end of season nine

The Walking Dead showrunner has discussed Andrew Lincoln’s exit from the show.

The actor, who plays Rick Grimes on the programme, is set to leave his role before the end of season nine.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, showrunner Angela Kang said: “The goal this season was just to pay homage to that character — the character that brought us into the show. Rick Grimes has been somebody that people have loved watching, just loved this character’s journey.”

She continued: “He is this man who was looking for his family, and found them, and lost many of them, but has fought on and on. And I think that’s meant a lot to people. And we just really wanted to be respectful of that character and send him off in a great way. So that was the charge for us this season.”

Kang added that the show needed to make sure it still told “the story of the people going forward because it’s never been a story about just this one man.”

Of Lincoln himself, she said: “He has so empowered the other actors to carry on the positive legacy that he’s had on the set all these years. And they really have absolutely stepped up. So we have all these wonderful actors that are on our show that are gonna be just as positive, and wonderful, and warm as he was. And that’s really the lasting legacy that Andy leaves us as a human being on our set.”

The show’s producers face a challenge once Lincoln does depart. According to a new survey, 44 percent of The Walking Dead fans said they will stop watching when the actor leaves. Another 37 percent said they were currently undecided if they would stick with the programme after his final scene.

Elsewhere in the survey, 72 percent added they thought the show should end with its next season. The Walking Dead season nine will premiere on October 7.