The second The Walking Dead spin-off, World Beyond, has set its premiere date. It will debut at 10 p.m. on April 12th, following the season 10 finale of The Walking Dead before moving to its regular time slot at 9 p.m. on the following Sunday. The season will air just 10 episodes, and unlike The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, the season will not be split into two.
Most interesting, however, is the fact that World Beyond is a closed-ended series. It will end after 20 episodes and two seasons. Showrunner Matthew Negrete has a very specific story he wants to tell about a younger generation of survivors, and when that story is finished, World Beyond will be finished, presumably regardless of how popular World Beyond might end up becoming (that’s not to say that characters from the series cannot spin off into their own series).
I think this is great for a few reasons, chiefly that with two open-ended series in progress already, another series of an indefinite length might have been hard to keep up with for even the most avid The Walking Dead fan. It also sets a precedent for future The Walking Dead content. The Walking Dead will continue to run forever, while spin-offs will be able to come and go, and if they’re two to three seasons in length, they’re less likely to run themselves into the ground (as Fear the Walking Dead has done).
Most importantly, the two-season limit on this particular series seems designed to feed into the eventual Rick Grimes movie. Scott Gimple has stated that this series will be most concerned with The Walking Dead universe, like the Rick Grimes movie, and it would make perfect sense for World Beyond — with its CRM helicopter — to lead straight into the Grimes’ films. If that is indeed the case, and if the schedule remains fixed, I’d speculate that the Rick Grimes movie would premiere — and World Beyond would end — around June of 2021.