The Walking Dead will not be devoid of Maggie in Season 9. Star Lauren Cohan confirms AMC worked out a deal for her return, though her character may still leave the series in light of Cohan’s new project.

Cohan confirmed her return to Entertainment Weekly, stating “I’m going back. There’s a lot more Maggie story to tell.” The series staple previously sought a modest raise to her contract, and stalled negotiations led to Cohan joining the pilot of ABC’s Whiskey Cavalier. That project won’t shoot until some months after The Walking Dead Season 9 begins production, leaving it unclear if Cohan’s character will appear less frequently (or be written out) as the season progresses. Should ABC decline to pick up Whiskey Cavalier, Cohan may stick with The Walking Dead full-time.

The AMC drama very nearly reached an impasse with Cohan’s involvement, as the recent Season 8 finale – spoiler alert – hinted Maggie might turn against Rick over his decision to spare Negan. Had AMC and Cohan not reached an agreement, Season 9 would be forced to explain the Hilltop leader and series regular’s sudden off-screen exit. Negotiations even progressed to the point co-star Khary Payton urged AMC to “pay the woman.”

The Walking Dead itself remains somewhat in decline, as finale viewership dipped to Season 1 levels. Will the series’ prospects tick up with Cohan’s return?

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