Now that 'The Walking Dead' has begun production on its fourth season, the lifespan of the AMC horror drama seems to span years into the future, as with its comic predecessor that spans over 100 issues with no end in sight. That said, how far can AMC continue to sustain 'The Walking Dead,' its most commercially successful property? The AMC CEO thinks we could be fighting zombies for a very long time, so get a taste of 'The Walking Dead's surprising future plans inside!

'The Walking Dead' made perhaps its biggest deviation from the comics yet in season 3 finale "Welcome to the Tombs," but will the AMC series adopt the comic's model of a never-ending story? Series creator Robert Kirkman famously professed that his comic series would have no theoretical endpoint, while AMC Network CEO Josh Sapan somewhat jokingly expressed that the company has no intent for the TV 'Walking Dead' to come to an end.

We hope that zombies live forever and we’ve just begun to find out what the post-apocalyptic world is like. So that we’ll be sitting here at the Barclays conference in 2022 discussing the fact that Walking Dead is not over … at that point, I think any one of the companies will have replaced the United States government and we’ll be in a complete free enterprise world in which there are no nations.

Sapan naturally joked about the situation, but it does raise the question of the AMC drama's mortality, given the repeated creative differences behind-the-scenes, and the imminent ends of the network's fellow prized properties 'Breaking Bad' and 'Mad Men.' We'd like to imagine a healthy 7-8 seasons of 'The Walking Dead' on AMC, which could easily outlast the growing costs of most long-running series, given its propensity to kill characters off over time.

While we wait for season 4, the next run of ‘The Walking Dead’ will introduce ‘The Wire’s’ Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as haunted Army medic Bob Stookey, while actors Chad Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green and Emily Kinney have all been upgraded to series regulars. AMC earlier confirmed that David Morrissey’s villainous Governor would also return in season 4 as a series regular.

Well, what say you? Do you think 'The Walking Dead' could have an exceptionally long-life on AMC, given its ongoing comic? When would you like to see the series come to a close? Watch a preview for next season below, and hit the comments with your own thoughts!