Lastyear, TV Guide ranked the 100 greatest shows on TV at the time and left The Walking Dead off it completely.
Our thinking was that even though it had remained immensely popular, it hadn't stayed vital.
“As much as we love the show (we'll watch it to the end), it hasn't truly evolved in the eight seasons it's been on the air. Staying relevant in today's world means adapting and evolving, not merely surviving.”
This was written after twointerminable, joyless seasons of Rick Grimes and Negan powering up at each other, Dragon Ball Z-style.
The dialogue consisted almost entirely of speeches about "we have to kill to survive." All but the most diehard fans had had enough and jumped ship.
And a lot of diehards spent most of their time complaining about showrunner Scott Gimple on Reddit. Even for misery porn, it was no fun. It felt like it was running out of life, as most shows that last longer than a season do.
But there was a big behind-the-scenes change that probably saved the show.
Scott Gimple became Chief Content Officer of the Walking Dead franchise, and Angela Kang was promoted to showrunner in his place.
And she came in with her work cut out for her, like figuring out how exactly to get Rick Grimes into that helicopter.
Writing dialogue as conversations instead of speeches. Casting great actors like Brett Butler and Angus Sampson to give small parts an extra kick.
Giving dissatisfied cast member Tom Payne a truly shocking, game-changing midseason finale death that was one of the scariest moments the show has ever had.
Figuring out organic ways to transfer Rick's and Carl's comic storylines to other characters. And most importantly, putting a sense of hope into the show.
The new manager gave an interminable speech and many people fell asleep.