"Scripted series traditionally get more expensive as they age when factoring in things like cast and producer salaries and licensing fees," explains The Hollywood Reporter's Lesley Goldberg of this week's announcement that The Walking Dead will end after a supersized Season 11 in late 2022. "AMC's main source of revenue on the flagship series is ad revenue. While the zombie drama remains one of the most-watched programs on television, its ratings are a fraction of what they were during the show's heyday. And while the ratings have softened over the years — the season 10 finale was its lowest rated, ever — ad rates for the series have declined, too. What's more, the flagship drama's lucrative international rights are locked up via a decade-old deal with Fox International. In addition, the streaming rights to The Walking Dead were sold years ago to Netflix." As a source tells her, the only way for The Walking Dead to make money these days is with ad revenue. "By launching a new spinoff featuring The Walking Dead's two most popular characters, AMC will have the option to sell international and streaming rights to the series while also reducing the show's budget and licensing fees," says Goldberg. "The plan, say sources, for the Carol and Daryl spinoff and to end the show around season 11 was put in place well before former AMC president Charlie Collier — who originally greenlit The Waking Dead — departed the network in 2018. As for why seasons 10 and 11 added six and eight episodes, respectively, to their runs, that comes down to economics, too. So-called supersized seasons help keep things like actor salaries and the show's overall budgets the same. (Taken together, the extra 14 episodes could have become a 12th season, triggering things like salary increases.)"