Is Andrew Lincoln Departing “Walking Dead”?

With ensemble shows with a lot of deaths, there always seems to be at least 2-3 leading characters who are always going to be safe and in almost every episode. No-one is going to kill the likes of Jack Bauer or Tyrion Lannister after all.

Things may be about to change though as a new report at Collider indicates actor Andrew Lincoln will only be playing his signature role of Rick Grimes in a total of six episodes in the upcoming sixteen-episode ninth season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”.

The report, which has yet to be confirmed by AMC or the show’s producers, suggest something is up. Previously it was confirmed that actress Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie on the series, is returning and confirmed to be only involved six episodes as well.

The site adds that Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon will step up and become the show’s new leading man following Lincoln’s departure, and will be well compensated for it too with a new $20 million contract. How fans will respond isn’t clear. In the comics Rick is still the central character and vitally important to upcoming storylines.

Viewership of the series is definitely down with the new season promising to be something of an overhaul. “The Walking Dead” season 9 is expected to premiere later this year.