That "shocker" comes with free sarcasm, of course, since AMC needs "The Walking Dead" franchise like Daryl Dixon needs his crossbow. AMC just announced that it renewed both "The Walking Dead" and its post-show therapy session, "Talking Dead," for the 2016-2017 season.

That's Season 7 for TWD, which has been sticking with a mid-October to late March/early April schedule of 16 episodes (with a midseason break from early December to early February) since Season 3. It sounds like showrunner Scott M. Gimple, the series's third showrunner, is keeping his gig for Season 7 and, probably, beyond.

Back when they were still filming Season 5, comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman talked about Season 7 (and the comic) to Entertainment Weekly Radio:

I'm still doing the comic ... and plan in doing it for many, many more years," Robert said. "And right now I would guess that the issues that we are doing as we speak are material that could be adapted into like a Season 10, 11, or 12, depending on how we adapt things. And we're not stopping. So five years for now we'll be doing comic books that could be, you know, Season 15. Now, it's unrealistic to think that a show could go on for that long, but if the show remains successful, the potential is there for that. ... All that said, I'm just hoping and praying we make it to Season 7."

Well, his prayers were answered on that front. He may have randomly said Season 7, or already knew that Season 6 was a go so he just said the next one, or could that perhaps be when a certain Negan shows up and he's particularly excited for that storyline?

Anyway, here's a quote from Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios, in AMC's press release announcing the renewals:

Thank goodness someone had a Magic 8-Ball with them in our many long internal meetings about these renewals. When, on the third shake, 'without a doubt' filled the murky blue screen, we knew we had to proceed with new seasons of 'The Walking Dead' and 'Talking Dead. All joking aside, we are so proud to share these shows with fans who have been so passionate, communicative and engaged. We are grateful for and continually impressed by the talent, effort and excellence on continuous display by Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, Chris Hardwick and the many people with whom we partner to make these unique shows possible. The result: More Walking and Talking. Hooray."

Expect Season 7 to premiere in early-to-mid October, as usual. Congrats, TWD Family!

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