It’s starting to feel like The Walking Dead itself may have been bitten. Star Lauren Cohan recently went out for pilots in a likely bid to renegotiate her Walking Dead contract, but has now officially signed to a new series over displeasure with AMC’s offers.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cohan has officially signed to a leading role in ABC drama pilot Whiskey Cavalier, but has not yet inked an official Season 9 deal for The Walking Dead. The actress and her agents are reportedly unhappy with AMC’s offers, despite indications she wasn’t seeking pay parity with series leads Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus. Cohan mulling pilot offers was thought to represent a negotiation strategy, though “insiders suggest that Cohan was actively looking for her next job and not trying to use the pilot casting process to force AMC’s hand.”

Should AMC fail to present an appealing enough offer, Season 9 of the flagship zombie drama might simply write out Cohan’s Maggie altogether. Equally plausible is that Cohan returns for a short number of episodes, but moves on when Whiskey Cavalier goes to series. As THR also notes, Cohan could also end up working on neither project. The series itself is clearly in a moment of transition, as star Chandler Riggs will soon make his own surprising exit from the series, while the ninth season will replace showrunner Scott Gimple with Angela Yang.

Longtime fans would undoubtedly be disheartened by Cohan’s exit, so is it time to start considering The Walking Dead’s endgame?

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