"The Walking Dead" may no longer feature Rick Grimes, but Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier are sticking around for the foreseeable future.

After the high-profile departure of original star Andrew Lincoln (who's next set to star in a series of "Walking Dead" spinoff TV movies), his fellow season one survivors Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride have just signed lucrative new deals that ensure they'll stay on the show -- or at least in the "TWD" universe -- for at least three more years. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, AMC programming president David Madden explained that Reedus and McBride's contracts are "franchise deals" that "allow [the network] the flexibility to either move them or use them in more than one place, depending on what seems creatively right."

That means that Daryl and Carol could be starring in their own "TWD" films, their own spinoff series, or even be killed off of the flagship series any time over the next three years -- but Reedus and McBride will get paid no matter what. Along with that flexibility, both actors are also getting significant pay bumps, with THR sources saying that Reedus will be making about $350,000 per episode, plus additional guarantees and advances, totaling an estimated $50-90 million over three years; McBride's three-year deal is said to be worth about $20 million.

And they're not the only ones getting a big payday: THR reports that Danai Gurira, who plays Michonne, is also negotiating for a new contract. Complicating matters is her rising star on the big screen, with a string of high-profile roles in films like "Black Panther," which could pull her away from "TWD" sooner rather than later.

"We love Danai; we love that character. Right now, she's got a lot of opportunities and she needs to weigh what she feels is best for her," Madden told THR. "But we certainly would want her on the show as long as she wants to be on it. ... The goal is to have Danai continue on whatever basis she can make work, given the other things that she has going on in her life."

Raise your hand if you want a Michonne-centric spinoff flick. Here's hoping AMC can work things out with the insanely talented Gurira.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]