The Walking Dead (season 7)

The seventh season of The Walking Dead, an American post-apocalyptic horror television series on AMC, premiered on October 23, 2016, and concluded on April 2, 2017, consisting of 16 episodes. Developed for television by Frank Darabont, the series is based on the eponymous series of comic books by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The executive producers are Kirkman, David Alpert, Scott M. Gimple, Greg Nicotero, Tom Luse, and Gale Anne Hurd, with Gimple as showrunner for the fourth consecutive season. The seventh season received mixed reviews from critics. It was nominated for multiple awards and won three, including Best Horror Television Series for the second consecutive year, at the 43rd Saturn Awards.
This season adapts material from issues #100–114 of the comic book series and focuses on the oppressive group of survivors known as the Saviors, led by the vindictive Negan. He uses numbers, power and lethal brutality to coerce Rick Grimes, his group of survivors, and the Alexandria Safe-Zone to make regular offerings of supplies and weapons for the Saviors. Eventually, Rick and his group seek allies to help them confront Negan, including members of the survivor communities of the Hilltop, the Kingdom, Oceanside, and the Scavengers, who have had their own dealings with Negan and the Saviors.


Main cast

The seventh season features twenty series regulars overall. For the season premiere, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Austin Amelio were promoted to series regular status, with Morgan added to the opening credits and Amelio listed under "Also starring". After the first episode aired, the cast faced numerous changes: Steven Yeun and Michael Cudlitz were removed from the opening credits, while Alanna Masterson, Josh McDermitt and Christian Serratos were added to the opening credits, respectively, after previously being credited as "Also starring", in the second episode onwards. Tom Payne and Xander Berkeley were also promoted to series regulars in the second episode and beyond.


Alexandria Safe-Zone

The Walking Dead was renewed by AMC for a 16-episode seventh season on October 30, 2015. Filming for season 7 began in Georgia on May 2, 2016 and concluded on November 18, 2016. Actors Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Xander Berkeley, Tom Payne, and Austin Amelio were all promoted to series regulars for the seventh season, after having recurring roles in the sixth season. The seventh season has featured several extended episodes, running longer than its usual 43-minute running time. Extended episodes have ranged from 46 to 62 minutes in length.
The finale was dedicated in memory of American comic artist Bernie Wrightson, who died on March 18, 2017.



Critical response

The seventh season of The Walking Dead has received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds a score of 64% with an average rating of 6.97 out of 10 based on 15 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Increased character depth and effective world-building helps The Walking Dead overcome a tiresome reliance on excessive, gratuitous violence."
The first episode of the season, "The Day Will Come When You Won't Be", received criticism for the amount of violence depicted in the episode, with one writer calling it the equivalent of "torture porn". Subsequently, the first half of the seventh season has seen some of the show's lowest critical ratings. The show's executive producer Gale Anne Hurd claimed that in light of the negative feedback, they tamed some of the more gruesome scenes that were in episodes being filmed for the second half of the season. Hurd said that "this is not a show that's torture porn... Let's make sure we don't cross that line". However, this claim was countered by executive producers Scott M. Gimple and Greg Nicotero. Gimple said that the violence used in the episode was "pronounced for a reason", specifically that "there was a purpose of traumatizing these characters to a point where maybe they would have been docile for the rest of their lives", but noted that he felt that this episode shouldn't represent "the base level of violence that necessarily should be on the show". On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 67% with an average rating of 7.03 out of 10, based on 54 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "The flashback-laden 'The Day Will Come When You Won't Be' is slow to deliver the payoff from last season's finale—but ultimately delivers with sadistic acts of gut-wrenching violence that will push Walking Dead fans to their limit."


The series won two awards at the 43rd Saturn Awards: Best Actor on Television, and Best Guest Starring Role on Television. Additional nominations were for Best Supporting Actor on Television, Best Supporting Actress on Television, and Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series.
The first half of the season was nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series at the 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards. Additionally, for his portrayal of Negan, Jeffrey Dean Morgan earned himself a nomination and win for Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series at the 7th Critics' Choice Television Awards for the first half of the season, in addition to his guest appearance in the season six finale, "Last Day on Earth". Morgan was also nominated at the 26th MTV Movie & TV Awards for Best Actor in a TV Show and Best Villain, winning the latter.


The Walking Deads seventh-season premiere received 17.03 million viewers in its initial broadcast on AMC in the United States. The viewership steadily declined every week after the premiere, until the seventh episode, with the sixth episode of the season dropping to 10.40 million viewers, the lowest rating the show has had since season three. Viewing increased to 12 million viewers in the ninth episode, following this viewing decreased with the twelfth episode reaching a season low with 10.16 million viewers.
Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

Home media

The season was released on Blu-ray and DVD in region 1 on August 22, 2017, in region 2 on September 25, 2017, and in region 4 on September 27, 2017. The "Limited Edition Spike Walker Statue" set, which is exclusive to was released on October 24, 2017, and was created by McFarlane Toys to pay homage to the zombie character featured in the "New Best Friends" episode in season 7.