The Walking Dead will make a 'quantum leap forward' in season 9

Danai Gurira as Michonne Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes leading Team Rick

However, with Season 8 now over, the series will go into Season 9 with a new showrunner, Angela Kang, and, according to outgoing showrunner Scott M. Gimple, a "quantum leap forward".

Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC. Next week's numbers will determine how numerous curious onlookers following Morgan's transition to Fear the Walking Dead will stick around, but for now that one is off to a good start.

The recent season eight finale unfurled as an expected disappoint after a generally poor run, seeing twists which didn't feel earned and no real pay-off for the war between Rick and Negan. Even taking into account the fans who might have ventured out of Sunday to watch the season ender in cinemas on the big screen, that's a 42% drop in the demo from the Season 7 "The First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life" finale of previous year.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the direction they're taking in season nine, Gimple said: 'The show will evolve in a huge way.

"Where I'm from we call them Walkers". What [the writers] have planned ... it just feels new. It was so informed by the pilot. Consequently, Gimple's choice of words in "quantum leap forward" might be interpreted as confirmation that the series will make a similar time jump.

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Pertinently, last year's buildup to The Walking Dead Season 8 teased what appeared to be flash-forward scenes showing an older (epic-beard-sporting, ) Rick living a peaceful existence in Alexandria that resembled the comic book's time-jump.

On the bright side, the Season 4 premiere of "Fear the Walking Dead", which saw "Walking Dead" character Morgan Jones crossover into the sister series, was up in both measures from past year. However, the show's climactic final battle in question ultimately did not see Rick sustain any such injury, which leaves the time-jump notion further in question. The most recent season finale numbers are now half that of the series' best back in 2015 in Season 5.

Now that Morgan has arrived on Fear the Walking Dead, so too has his group's name for the undead: Walkers. Will the show be able to stop this hemorrhaging as it continues onward to Season 9?

Ratings Results of Interest: On Sunday, AMC's Fear the Walking Dead had its fourth season debut following the TWD season finale and it posted a 1.6 rating based on same day viewing for the 18-49 demographic with 4.1 million total viewers.

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