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The Walking Dead's Daryl And Carol Spin-Off Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

All good (and dead) things must come to an end. As fans of The Walking Dead contend with the reality that the AMC's long-running zombie series will come to an end in late 2022, they can at least find some solace in the fact that the Deadverse will continue on with a new program devoted to two of its most enduring, beloved, and 'shipped characters.

On September 9, Entertainment Weekly reported that AMC greenlit a Walking Dead spin-off series that will focus on bow-toting Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus) and soulmate-of-sorts Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), both of whom are the only characters to have appeared in all ten seasons of TWD. The yet-untitled series is slated to debut on AMC in 2023. Walking Dead Chief Content Officer Scott M. Gimple, who oversees all things narrative in the rapidly expanding Deadverse, will serve as as co-creator on the new series alongside Angela Kang, the current showrunner on TWD. Kang will also handle showrunning duties for the Daryl-Carol series, which is reassuring news, indeed. While specific plot and character details remain scarce, we do have some information on the far-off spin-off to report. Here's everything we know so far about Carol and Daryl's solo outing into the world of the dead. 

When can we expect to see the Daryl-Carol Walking Dead spinoff?

Though the producers haven't given more than a projection in terms of when the Daryl-Carol show might air, we do have several other Walking Dead series in the expansive franchise to consider. All ten seasons of The Walking Dead –- including the abbreviated tenth season, which will finally air its finale on October 4, 2020 –- have historically enjoyed October premieres. With the flagship series coming to an end just before the Carol-Daryl series launches, it's possible that AMC will slide the new program into the old fall time slot. That would peg a highly speculative premiere date for the spin-off around October 2023.

As EW noted, another Walking Dead spinoff series, The Walking Dead: The World Beyond, will also kick off on October 4 of this year, while the sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead will follow on October 11, which could further cement the Halloween season as the official Walking Dead premiere period. But consider this: Fear has also launched its previous five seasons on dates that landed between April and August, so it's also possible that the Daryl-Carol show may take a page from Fear's playbook and establish its own identity and timeframe.

Who has been cast in the Daryl-Carol Walking Dead spinoff?

So far, just Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride are confirmed for the new series, though it's possible that the supporting cast will be filled with the same rich characters that populate The Walking Dead and its other franchise titles. Several TWD players have also turned up in Fear the Walking Dead –- including Carol herself — who made a cameo appearance in the Season 4 opener along with Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes. So it's possible that we might see other TWD mainstays turn up in the Daryl-Carol show. Carol's ex, Ezekiel, maybe?

One other clue about possible crossovers: The EW article announcing the Daryl-Carol series also noted that AMC and Scott Gimple are developing a Walking Dead anthology series entitled Tales of the Walking Dead. It's described as an "episodic anthology with individual episodes or arc of episodes focused on new or existing characters, backstories or other stand-alone experiences," which means that characters from the previous nine seasons may get their own moment(s) in the undead spotlight –- a policy that also might be taken up by the Daryl-Carol series.

What's the Daryl-Carol Walking Dead spin-off about?

Both Reedus and McBride issued statements via AMC about the Daryl-Carol spin-off, and though details about the show's plot were hazy, it's safe to say that expanding and deepening the connection between the two characters will most likely be at the heart of the new show.

"Daryl's relationship with Carol has always been my favorite relationship on the show (sorry Rick)," said Reedus in the statement. "I love the way these characters interact and relate to each other on so many levels and can't wait to see where their ride goes from here."

McBride echoed her co-star's sentiments in her own statement. "In playing Carol, and as a viewer of the show, I've also been long intrigued with 'Daryl and Carol,' and by what so early on between them, even then, felt somehow bound," she said. "But there is also a rather mysterious aspect to their fondness for one another that I enjoy, and their playfulness when the world permits. I'm very curious!"

McBride isn't the only one who's dying to see what course the Daryl and Carol show will take. The duo's connection has given their respective characters depth and humanity beyond their rough (in the case of Daryl) and fragile (in respect to Carol) initial exteriors. Daryl's concern for Carol's physical and mental wellbeing in the early seasons of TWD allowed her to emerge from the shadow of her abusive ex-husband and reveal considerable grit (note her wiping out numerous Wolves in Season 6), while her openness and willingness to look past Daryl's tough exterior has imbued him with layers of humanity and altruism that might have otherwise remained unseen.

There's also the much-discussed issue of romance between Daryl and Carol. The two have a genuine love for each other, but as Forbes noted, it seems more based on mutual admiration for each other's survival skills than actual attraction. Reedus has also said (and subsequently denied saying) that he sees Daryl as an "asexual" character. That said, honing the focus on these two characters might finally answer the will-they-won't-they-'ship question that's plagued TWD fans for years. Then again, it might only make it worse.

Either way, it's bound to be a fascinating ride with Daryl and Carol once the series hits AMC in 2023.