This season, The Walking Dead introduced the series’ most disturbing and controversial villain, Negan, and according to actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan, he’ll be around for a while.
Negan made his full-length episode debut in the season premiere, which some have called far too violent. Since then, he has made an appearance in a few episodes, but hasn’t been a main focus for the show. In a new interview with Howard Stern, Morgan said that’s going to change in the next couple of episodes, and that fans should expect to see his face for quite some time.
“I know I will be on board for season eight,” Morgan said. “We’ve finished [season seven] a week ago. The next two, I’m really big in. I’m fucking heavy in those.”
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to Walking Dead comic fans who have kept up with the series. Negan has a pretty long arc in the comics and based on the reception that the character has received, it would make sense to keep him around. Whether or not fans like Negan, the controversial nature of the character is enough to keep conversation going.
Even with Negan’s inclusion, however, The Walking Dead is seeing its lowest ratings in years. The most recent episode scored the lowest ratings of the season, and compared to where season five was at this point last year, the show has definitely taken a dip. There are many reasons for why this may be happening, but remember that it’s not unusual to see a show’s ratings start to decline around the fifth or sixth season of its run. The Walking Dead is still one of the most watched shows on cable, so despite the declining ratings, AMC doesn’t have a reason to be concerned at this point.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.