Seven seasons in, The Walking Dead serves AMC’s best interest to extend and expand itself as long as possible . We’ve even heard vague suggestions of The Walking Dead continuing indefinitely, as with its comic inspiration, but AMC boss Josh Sapan took things a step further to proclaim their flagship horror-drama as an endlessly renewal franchise, a la Star Trek.

Sapan made the comments at Wednesday’s Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference (via The Wrap), reasserting that the AMC drama “has incredible long life left in it,” and could continue for “many, many more years.” Companion series Fear The Walking Dead hasn’t achieved anywhere near the same popularity as its progenitor, but that isn’t stopping Sapan from keeping additional franchise extensions in his back pocket, just as Star Trek has endured for half a century:

[‘Star Trek’] came and went three times. We do think that we have a franchise [in ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Fear the Walking Dead’] that is one of the rare franchises that you occasionally come across in what we do for a living.

It isn’t impossible to imagine The Walking Dead enduring a few reinventions over time, particularly as comics still provide a long stretch of roadwork for the main series. Still, if we’re going to make the Star Trek comparison, it might behoove the series to embrace some of the more out-there ideas that have emerged in the books, which have seen fit to jump through time and embrace more specific world-building.

I’d be willing to indulge a more far-flung Walking Dead world acclimated to the zombie apocalypse, but does the concept really support what AMC has in mind for the next few decades?

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