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AMC Expands The Walking Dead to 16 Episodes for Third Season

AMC announced over the weekend that Season 3 of The Walking Dead will consist of 16 episodes, an increase from this season’s 13. The first season of the hit drama, based on the long-running Image Comic series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, contained just six episodes.

Like the current season, which returns Feb. 12, Season 3 will be split, Zap2it reports. The show will also add two new writers: Nichole Beattie (Rubicon, John from Cincinnati) and Sang Kim (Crash, Hawthorne).

The announcement came out of the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, where showrunner Glen Mazarra was asked about his predecessor Frank Darabont’s rejected idea for the Season 2 premiere — a one-off episode delving into the backstory of the undead soldier Rick Grimes encountered in the tank at the end of the pilot.

“The story was one we discussed internally; that was Frank’s pitch and it was one of many ideas examined in the writers’ room,” Deadline reports Mazarra told journalists. “It just felt like a stall and we wanted to get to our characters. We have a lot of ideas like that. … That was not something that was rejected by another party. That’s not accurate.” TVLine has the executive producer adding: “It was under Frank’s stewardship that we moved off of that storyline. Frank moved off of that storyline.”

The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Feb. 12 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on AMC.


  • Billy Cool

    They’re IDIOTS for not doing the tank episode.

  • shane not dead yet

    16 episodes to get through the whole Prison arc?

  • Halfxxj

    Nah. 16 episodes to get TO the prison.

  • Big H

    Frank probably moved off of that storyline because of the budget reduction.

    Hopefully they increase the shows budget to match the expanded season.

  • Anonymous

    No, they’re incredibly smart for not doing it actually, considering the idea was to do it as the season 2 premiere. It would have done literally nothing other than piss people off.

  • Big H

    Agreed. Too many people want to get to and through the Prison arc way to quickly. If it were up to them they’d burn through what’s been done in comics in 3 seasons…

  • Ultras28

    Good thing they didn’t do that tank episode. I mean we wouldn’t want an episode that felt like it was stalling the pace.

  • Demoncat4

    nice that amc even after the fall out with frank is letting the walking dead take the time it needs to build an audience more. and hope season three now that its been expanded includes rick and crew meeting the governor who woudl make the even the joker wet himself out of fear and also introduce Mihone

  • Savonti

    Exactly.  The whole tank guy story sounds like a cool idea but it doesn’t really have anything to do with anything in terms of the story. With all the people already complaining about the slow pacing one would suggest leaving things like that to a webisode format.

  • Savonti

    Can’t help but agree with you, plenty people sound off about how angry they are about the pacing but really it’s about right based on the comics. My only real complaint (as opposed to the ones we do for fun or the sake of bitching) is that we’re not getting enough episodes each year.

  • Savonti

    Personally, I’m chomping at the bit for Tyreese to show up before the Governor and Michonne.

  • FringeRULES

    If that’s true then this show sucks.

  • said

    I’m afraid we won’t get Tyreese. It seems like T-Dog (seriously?) is all we get instead.

  • D.Smithee

    Nice! Good news.

  • Rfastfurious

    They better not take zombies out and, i guess they should come to an end of the disease because, in games and movies, we odn´t see that possibility

  • Jesse,

    Piss people off more than that shoddy premiere they went with instead? Let’s not reopen that coffin.