Andrew Lincoln To Exit ‘The Walking Dead’ After Season 9

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Big news for fans of The Walking Dead.

For Andrew Lincoln, who has captained the show since it began as the eternally exhausted former sheriff Rick Grimes, the upcoming ninth season will be his last, reports Collider.

After Lincoln's departure, co-star Norman Reedus will become the lead protagonist of the series in what's expected to be a $20 million deal with AMC.

It's unknown at this point how Lincoln and Cohan will be written out of the show, but Comicbook.com reports that Cohan is also contracted for six episodes, so presumably their exits will come at the same time.

The show has gotten even more brutal with killing off its characters in recent years, with Rick's own son Carl played by Chandler Riggs being killed off most recently.

However, Cohan, too, will reportedly only grace the show with her presence for a mere six episodes.

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The Walking Dead will undergo a major change during season 9 as lead star Andrew Lincoln is poised to leave the series after only a handful of episodes...

According to Collider, Rick Grimes will only be onscreen in six episodes of next season, which is now in production.

Collider first broke the news English actor Andrew, 44, would be leaving the hit zombie horror yesterday, sending shockwaves across the fandom. Melissa McBride has also signed on for season nine.

Could Rick be leaving The Walking Dead?

In a show like The Walking Dead, as the title suggests, death lurks around every corner - literally. Contracts for both Black Panther star Danai Gurira, who plays the character Michonne, and Lauren Cohan, who plays Maggie Rhee, end soon as well.

"There are lots of unanswered questions, and we owe a debt to all of the viewers to answer a few of those", Lincoln said in February when asked about a storyline in which Rick appeared to be dying. It's possible that Daryl, Carol, and some of the other popular characters could join the Fear world now that the two shows are on the same timeline.

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