It’s official: The Walking Dead will be back for an eighth season next year. While it should come as no real surprise, it is nonetheless exciting news for fans.

AMC made the announcement on Sunday night. It was revealed at the beginning of their two-hour retrospective, The Walking Dead: The Journey So Far.

The Walking Dead Season 8 Details

Season 8 will once again contain 16 episodes and will begin in fall 2017. Of course, we still have 16 episodes of Season 7 to get through first, and it hasn’t even started yet.

the walking dead rick grimesIn addition, The Walking Dead’s postshow, Talking Dead, will return next year along with host Chris Hardwick.

Current showrunner Scott Gimple will remain with the show when it turns next year. The Season 8 premiere will also be the show’s 100th episode.

Why is not so shocking for The Walking Dead to be renewed? Well, for one thing, it’s the highest rated show on television. Not just cable television — all television. In fact, it’s been the number one show among adults age 18-42 for the past four years.

The Walking Dead: The Journey So Far

Season One

The first episode of The Walking Dead premiered on Halloween night in 2010. That first season was a short one, with only six episodes. Frank Darabont, who developed the show for television, wrote several episodes and even directed the pilot, assumed the role of showrunner.

Season Two

After a strained relationship with AMC, Darabont left The Walking Dead in Season 2. Writer Glen Mazzara became the new executive producer and showrunner. The second season contained 13 episodes, set almost entirely at Hershel’s farm. This was also the season when AMC launched Talking Dead, an aftershow format that has since been copied by countless other networks.

Season Three

Season 3 introduced The Governor and the town of Woodbury to The Walking Dead. It was the first season to run for 16 episodes. After a disagreement on the future direction of the show, showrunner Glen Mazzara agreed to step down at the end of the season.

Season Four

The story of The Governor ended in the middle of the fourth season, with Rick and the group leaving the prison and heading for Terminus. Current showrunner Scott Gimple took over, with plans to return the show to its comic book roots.

Season Five

In Season 5, Rick and his fellow survivors escape from Terminus and make their way to Alexandria. Gimple continued as showrunner and Lennie James returned to play Morgan Jones.

Season Six

The last season to air was Season 6, which featured the Alexandrians struggling to survive against attacks from the Wolves. The team also found some allies at The Hilltop before succumbing to the Saviors and their nefarious leader, Negan.

The Journey Forward

As we all know, the Season 6 finale ended with a torturous cliffhanger. We watched as Negan brutally bashed someone’s head in with his baseball bat, Lucille. The episode ended without revealed who it was that died, however.

Many fans have speculated on who the unfortunate victim will be. The only way we’ll know for sure is when Season 7 premieres on Sunday, October 23 at 9/8c on AMC. Talking Dead will air a 90-minute special afterward featuring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and all of the actors from Negan’s line-up.

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