After 11 seasons, close to 200 episodes, and uncountable gallons of fake blood, The Walking Dead came to an end last year, with first spin-off Fear the Walking Dead slated to conclude this year after Season 8. But like the more intelligent walkers introduced in Season 11, The Walking Dead isn't dying out, it's evolving. AMC has three follow-up series in the works: The Walking Dead: Dead City, which will follow Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) on a journey to what's left of New York City; a spin-off about Daryl (Norman Reedus) in France simply titled Daryl Dixon; and a limited series that will finally reunite Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Michonne (Danai Gurira). The first two are coming out this year, while the as-yet-untitled Rick & Michonne show is slated for 2024.
While you wait for those spin-offs to be released, you may be looking for some shows to watch in the meantime. We have some recommendations. None of these post-apocalyptic programs are Walking Dead spin-offs — we've left Fear the Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Tales of the Walking Dead off the list, because they're not like The Walking Dead, they actually are The Walking Dead — but they will remind you of America's favorite survival horror drama. So grab yourself some braaaains to snack on and settle in to watch some grim and gory but still-somehow life-affirming television.
The Walking Dead was the biggest show to come out of the zombie trend of the 2000s and 2010s, which peaked and declined and was kind of shuffling along like, you know, a zombie, until The Last of Us came along. HBO's high-end adaptation of a popular, acclaimed video game of the same name follows two survivors in a post-apocalyptic America after a fungal plague has turned most of the world's population into brainless, hungry, mushroom-covered creatures who live only to eat and spread the disease. A girl named Ellie (Bella Ramsey) may hold the key to the cure, and a man named Joel (Pedro Pascal) is tasked with protecting her on a journey across the bleak landscape. The Last of Us is the best zombie show to come out since The Walking Dead started, loaded with the kind of tense horror action, disturbing creature design, and emotionally resonant characters that made The Walking Dead the world's biggest show for a time. If you checked out of The Walking Dead after a while but loved it when it was at its best, The Last of Us will make you feel like you felt back then, when Rick Grimes came out of his coma.
If you just want to watch a brutal action show about post-apocalyptic survival and don't care if it makes much sense, you would do well to check out See on Apple TV+. It's set in a future where a virus has rendered almost everyone blind, and society has reverted to tribalism. Jason Momoa stars as Baba Voss, a warrior who becomes the protector of two children who have the ability to see. Like The Walking Dead, it's an epic story of survival, and it has an added bonus of Jason Momoa eviscerating people. See's world-building draws a lot of influence from both The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, and while it's not as good as either of them, it has some fun action and is gorgeous to look at. Over the course of its three seasons, it managed to become Apple TV+'s most-watched drama with little fanfare, which means there are a lot of people out there who would enjoy it but haven't heard of it yet.
There are no horror elements in this acclaimed HBO Max limited series, but people who enjoy The Walking Dead as a character-driven story about how people come together as a community to rebuild society after a collapse will love Station Eleven. The series, which is based on a post-apocalyptic novel by Emily St. John, unfolds on two timelines, one as a viral pandemic spreads, and the other 20 years later as the survivors of the pandemic try to get by in what remains of the Midwest. It follows a Shakespearean theater troupe as they travel around entertaining people. It contains a crucial element that's so often missing in post-apocalyptic shows, even The Walking Dead: hope. It's not just about survival, it's about the things worth surviving for.
You've seen how zombies can cause societal collapse; now it's time to see how an alien invasion does it. TNT's Falling Skies aired during The Walking Dead's run from 2011 to 2015, and while The Walking Dead became a runaway hit, Falling Skies lived for five quieter seasons as a cult favorite. Both are intense tales of survival, with bands of survivors struggling to find food, shelter, and safety, and the main threat is sometimes other humans. Unlike The Walking Dead, Falling Skies has more of a traditional plot, as Tom Mason (Noah Wyle) -- this show's Rick Grimes -- must figure out why aliens are enslaving human children and what their larger plans are, while also contending with drama involving his three sons and his feelings for the hottie doctor. -Tim Surette
The CW's post-apocalyptic survival series is sci-fi, but it's one of TV's closest shows to The Walking Dead in terms of vibe. It's a lot like The Walking Dead for bleakness of mood, the moral ambiguity of its heroes, and its sprawling ensemble cast of beloved characters who could die at any moment. It begins 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse, and the only human survivors live on an orbiting space station called The Ark. When overpopulation on the Ark becomes a problem, however, 100 juvenile delinquents are sent to Earth to test whether the radiation-poisoned atmosphere is now habitable. The kids soon find that they aren't the only human survivors after all, and they'll have to fight for survival in a strange new world. Its cult is smaller than The Walking Dead's, but no less devoted, and Alycia Debnam-Carey is arguably still better known for her recurring role as Lexa on Seasons 2 and 3 of The 100 than her main role on Fear the Walking Dead.
You'll need your subtitles for this one, but trust us, it's worth it. The Rain is a Danish series set in a world besieged by a virus that is carried by rainfall. While most humans have been wiped out in Scandinavia, where the series is set, two siblings survived the epidemic by sheltering in a bunker for six years. They emerge to search for their father and end up joining forces with another group of survivors in the hopes of finding a quarantine zone. The show wrapped up with its third season, which is already on Netflix, so you can power through it without having to worry you'll be left hanging. –Lindsay MacDonald
Two zombie shows for the price of one! The satirical Z Nation, which ran on Syfy from 2014 to 2018, was a parodic direct response to the seriousness of The Walking Dead, and took a similar zombie apocalypse premise and added a heavy dose of humor. It follows a group of survivors three years into the apocalypse as they transport a guy named Murphy (Keith Allan), who was injected with an experimental vaccine and is the only known survivor of a zombie bite, from New York to the last remaining CDC research lab in California. But Murphy is a dick, which makes him a very unpleasant travel companion, plus he's harboring a secret about his condition. It's a very fun, campy counterpart to The Walking Dead that has a much lower budget but still manages to get off some entertaining action sequences and has some characters you'll grow to care about. You'll see the zombaby in the pilot and be like "Oh, I get what this show is about." Alternatively/in addition to, you can watch the prequel series Black Summer, which was made directly for Netflix and serves as Z Nation's answer to Fear the Walking Dead, showing the start of the zombie apocalypse. However, it's very different than both Z Nation and The Walking Dead, and has a straight-ahead action horror style that owes more to first-person shooter video games than TV. It's a relentless run-and-gun show that's all action and basically nothing else. You don't have to have watched Z Nation first, because they don't share any characters or feel similar, they just take place in the same universe. They're both a lot of fun, but in different ways.
Some of South Korea's biggest global hits have been stories about the undead (yes, we're talking about Train to Busan and Kingdom, the latter of which is also on this list), and Netflix's All of Us Are Dead is the most recent one. The jolting thriller about a zombie virus outbreak at a high school follows students as they desperately fight against flesh-eating monsters — some of whom had been their human friends just minutes before. Starring Yoon Chan-young, Park Ji-hu, Park Solomon, Cho Yi-hyun, and Squid Game's Lee Yoo-mi, the series based on the webtoon Now at Our School is a fresh take on the zombie genre with its centering of teen characters and its setting that transforms ordinary classrooms into vicious battlegrounds. As the virus spreads beyond the walls of the school, the show's exploration of themes including the corruption of authority and the abuse of power also becomes increasingly apparent. -Kat Moon
This exciting Korean series takes the premise of zombie horror and creatively mashes it up with a period piece, with a zombie plague that's ravaging Korea in the early 1600s. It follows a prince who uncovers a plot to overthrow his ailing father, who is sick with an illness that's spreading across the region. He investigates further and finds that after the plague kills its host, it resurrects them as a zombie. So then he and his allies must fight to stop the virus while also fighting to save his dynasty. Kingdom blends historical details and political intrigue with gory horror kills, and is easily the best zombie show to come out since The Walking Dead began.
Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comic on which The Walking Dead is based, created this underrated horror series, which ran for two seasons on Cinemax and is also based on one of his comics. It tells the story of Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit), a man in rural West Virginia who is an outcast in his town because misfortune follows him — people around him have a tendency to get possessed by demons. As a result, he's become something of an expert on dealing with demonic possession, and he helps his friend Rev. John Anderson (Philip Glenister) exorcise people in their community. But Kyle's past haunts him, and his methods of exorcism are controversial. The show is very scary and has a strong supporting cast featuring Wrenn Schmidt, Kate Lyn Sheil, Brent Spiner, and the late Reg E. Cathey. It also has a darkness and Southern setting that will feel familiar to fans of The Walking Dead. If it had been on Netflix instead of Cinemax, it would have been a hit. Hopefully it ends up on HBO Max alongside other Cinemax shows someday
If your favorite part of The Walking Dead is special effects makeup maestro Greg Nicotero's creepy creations, this anthology series on the horror-focused streaming service Shudder is all about them. Nicotero, an executive producer and director on The Walking Dead, is the showrunner for Creepshow, a streaming TV reboot of the cult classic anthology film from the '80s that was written by Stephen King and directed by George Romero, the guy who invented the modern zombie with Night of the Living Dead. This Creepshow packs 2 skin-crawling shorts per episode, all of which contain something that will make you say "That's gross. I love it." It's lighter in tone than The Walking Dead, but no less gruesome.
There are no zombies in auteur creator Mike Flanagan's horror hit, but like on The Walking Dead, the scariest monsters are human. The limited series loosely adapted Shirley Jackson's classic novel and expanded it into a drama about the Crains, a family reeling from the losses of mother Olivia (Carla Gugino) and youngest daughter Nell (Victoria Pedretti), 26 years apart but both due to the horrors they suffered while living in Hill House. The siblings and their father reconvene after an estrangement, and old wounds get reopened and new and old terrors visit them. Like The Walking Dead, it's a horror series on the surface that's not so secretly a family drama, and its power comes from the dynamics between the characters and the way it makes us care about them before ripping our hearts out. Fear the Walking Dead's first three seasons are actually even more like Hill House than The Walking Dead, as the spin-off began as a family drama with zombies before shifting into a different, more Western-influenced mode from Season 4 on. After Hill House, you can also check out Season 2 of the anthology series, The Haunting of Bly Manor.
It's totally fine if your favorite part of The Walking Dead is watching people get brutally killed in stomach-turning ways. That's an important part of the show! And Into the Badlands has even more blood per episode than The Walking Dead. This martial arts action series aired on AMC from 2015 to 2019, and it never quite caught on the way that it should have — though now that the complete series is on Netflix, people may find it and appreciate its dazzling fight choreography, vibrant color scheme, and clever post-apocalyptic world-building. Set hundreds of years in the future after America has collapsed and what remains is ruled by feudal barons, it tells the story of Sunny (Daniel Wu), a warrior in the employ of the Badlands' most powerful baron who leaves the life he knows behind when he meets a boy from another place who may hold secrets of his own mysterious past. Together, they go on a perilous journey to find the truth. Into the Badlands has magic, mystery, and stylized martial arts violence that gorehounds will drink up. It's tonally quite different than The Walking Dead, but there's a reason AMC picked it up when The Walking Dead was at its peak of popularity. Both shows take rule-bound genres and shake them up.