The Walking Dead hasn't been doing too hot lately as a property. The series is seeing near-record low ratings. Chandler Riggs was killed off to everyone's surprise. Lauren Cohan had a public contract dispute, which will see her only appearing in six of the eight episodes of the first half of season nine.
Then there's Andrew Lincoln. The actor who has been with the show since its launch will only be in six episodes as well, with Lincoln confirming season nine will be his last.
It's rumored that AMC has offered substantial compensation to Norman Reedus to both stay with the series and to take over the leading role.
Season nine of The Walking Dead is likely to air this October.