Why The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live season 2 isn't happening

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live brought Rick Grimes and Michonne's story full-circle, but don't be anticipating another season of the TWD show.
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: AMC /

Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira made their long-awaited comebacks to the world of The Walking Dead in spinoff series The Ones Who Live. The show focused on the relationship between Rick Grimes and Michonne, as the duo contemplated existence without each other and their family, learning to survive in a world that wouldn't let them truly live. Only in finding each other again could get that chance at a life worth living.

Lincoln left The Walking Dead in its ninth season when Rick was "killed off" in a bridge explosion. But the character wasn't dead; he was taken by the Civic Republic Military, allowing the show to continue on without him, while also leaving the promise of a return in the future. Gurira then left the show in season 10 when Michonne discovered that Rick was alive, setting up their eagerly-anticipated spinoff series.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live premiered on AMC and AMC+ in February 2024, running for six compelling episodes before its conclusion. However, unlike fellow spinoffs Dead City and Daryl Dixon, there is no sign of a second season. Here's why.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live was a limited series

While The Walking Dead: Dead City and Daryl Dixon both had concepts that allowed them to continue on past one season, The Ones Who Live was envisioned as a limited series. It's essentially a six-part movie designed for one purpose, and one purpose alone: To reunite Rick and Michonne and get them back to their family in Alexandria. Six episodes in, it accomplished that.

The series finale saw Rick and Michonne defeat the CRM, survive the explosion (and the huge outbreak of walkers that came after that) and make their way back to Alexandria. Outside the gates, they reunited with their daughter Judith and son RJ. It was a particularly monumental moment because Rick had never met his son before and only learned of his existence from Michonne in the fourth episode of the series. The four of them shared an emotional embrace; The Brave Man had come home and now they could all live happily ever after.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne, Cailey Fleming as Judith, Anthony Azor as RJ - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

That's not to say it could never happen; the TWD Universe is in an exciting new era where the stories are expanding beyond the original setting, so there is no definitive way to say that Rick and Michonne won't return for another adventure at some point. However, chief content officer of The Walking Dead franchise Scott M. Gimple has said that there are currently no plans for a second season.

He has ideas for where the story could go, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will make it to the screen, as he told Entertainment Weekly:

"It's definitely going to go somewhere... But it might just be in my brain. It might just be my fan fiction."

Scott Gimple

Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira agreed that there is potential for future stories but that it would have to give them the same kind of feeling that The Ones Who Live's storyline did. Lincoln told EW that he was immensely proud of the work they all did on the limited series and that it would have to be "a really exciting story" to get them all to do it again. But he's not ruling it out either, telling the outlet "Never say never", suggesting that the stars could align in the future again, but he doesn't know when.

"That was thrilling that we did episodes and sequences that I'm intensely proud of and we haven't seen before. If that were to come out of Gimple's or Danai's brain, and it was irresistible, then I think that there's infinite chance that it might happen again. But I don't know when."

Andrew Lincoln

Taking all of that into account, there is potential for the show to return in the future (or in the form of another spinoff), but for the time being The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live is a one-and-done series, telling the straightforward story that the initially-planned Rick Grimes movies were supposed to.

Rick and Michonne could return in a different TWD show

Even though Rick and Michonne's return to the TWD Universe was in a six-part limited series, that doesn't necessarily mean we've seen the last of them. Yes, the bulk of their story has been wrapped up and The Ones Who Live achieved its goal of bringing their arcs full-circle, but they're still an important part of the fabric of The Walking Dead Universe - the same universe that is carrying on beyond this show.

The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live season 2
Danai Gurira as Michonne, Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live _ Season 1, Episode 5 - Photo Credit: AMC /

It was initially speculated that the Rick and Michonne series would be the endgame of the saga's new spinoff era, closing it out for good with the two characters fans wanted to see back more than ever. It would have been fitting considering that Rick Grimes is the original TWD character, having been present in the franchise since the very first episode of The Walking Dead. But that's not the case at all, as Dead City and Daryl Dixon are ongoing, with the potential of even more spinoffs in the future carrying the shared universe into the next generation.

Now that Rick and Michonne are back in Alexandria, one would imagine that they would be present for the homecomings of Daryl, Maggie, and Carol. Heck, maybe Rick would like to see how his attempt to imprison and redeem Negan ultimately paid off. The storytelling potential is there, and we can't imagine these characters' stories coming to an end without a reunion with Rick and Michonne. And whenever the TWD Universe does bow out, it wouldn't be right if it did so without them either.

So yes, The Ones Who Live might have only lasted for one season, but we wouldn't be surprised if Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira made another appearance or two before the end of the TWD Universe. Rick and Michonne are too important to the saga for them not to.

We'll just have to wait and see when - or where - it happens.

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