Andrew Lincoln is leaving The Walking Dead after season 9, but no worries, everyone’s favorite crossbow-wielding zombie killer, Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) will stay on, and he’s supposedly getting a hefty pay raise to go along with being elevated to top billing on the series after Lincoln goes.
With Andrew Lincoln shockingly leaving The Walking Dead after season 9, and only appearing in the first half of that season, it looks like Norman Reedus (Daryl) will be getting a well-deserved upgrade on the show to top billing and the salary to go along with it.
New sources have reported that Reedus is receiving a $20 million pay increase to stay on AMC’s No. 1 show, a still popular post-acopalystic drama that has lost viewership the last two seasons but still clocks in around eight million viewers per episode.
It’s a major raise from the $80,000/episode Reedus was reportedly making before. He will now be the highest paid actor on the show.
The reported pay raise will certainly be appreciated in the expanding Reedus household. The 49-year-old actor’s girlfriend, actress Diane Krueger, is expecting their first child. Reedus also has an 18-year-old son with ex-girlfriend model Helena Christensen.
Reedus is a hugely popular actor on TWD, and keeping him in the midst of losing the series’ main star, Andrew Lincoln, is important for the show’s continuity. The show is also losing popular character Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who will also appear in just the first half of the next season, and is leaving to focus on other projects, including a new show on ABC, Whiskey Cavalier. Cohan had also supposedly tried to negotiate a higher pay raise, on par with her male co-stars.
How all this will play out in season 9 remains to be seen. Ratings for the show have been a series low, with the show stagnating in the drawn-out war with Negan. Ratings have increased for Fear the Walking Dead, which was retooled into a superior creative series with a Western theme that is working brilliantly for the spinoff. In fact, Fear is a much better show at this point, but with Rick sparing Negan, there is great potential for the original show to reshape its dramatic arch.
Whether or not The Walking Dead can continue without its main star — the heart of the show for so long — Rick Grimes is another matter.