AMC’s zombie drama The Walking Dead is changing its show runners. According to reports, Scott Gimple will leave the role he has occupied since 2013 and will be replaced by Angela Kang who had previously worked on the show as a writer.
This change of personnel comes at a time of falling ratings for The Walking Dead. The 7.9 million broadcast viewers of the mid-season finale last month was the lowest number since Season 2’s in 2011. This is in comparison to the 10.58 million viewers that watched the mid-season of Season 7 in 2016, and nearly half of what the equivalent episode achieved for Season 5 in 2014.
According to a news report, Gimple will now serve as chief content officer for the Walking Dead media franchise which also includes the spin-off show Fear the Walking Dead as well as gaming and future brand extensions on a variety of platforms.
Kang has been working on the show since 2011 and has written over 20 episodes. She will take over at the start of Season 9 which is expected to premiere in the fall.
Last month, producer David Alpert defended the show in light of its decline in viewers. He explained that looking at the figures for the show’s live broadcast was misleading as to how popular it really is. “I don’t think in any way the brand has lost its relevance in general,” he said. “I think we’re just seeing a decline in urgency across all media to consume something at a specific time. I still get people coming up to me at conventions talking about, they’re in the middle of season six. They can’t believe what’s going on,” he added.
The Walking Dead Season 8 returns in February.