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File:TWD S6 KEY ART.jpg
Promotional poster for the mid-season premiere
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 16
Original channel AMC
Original run October 11, 2015 (2015-10-11) – April 3, 2016 (2016-04-03)
List of The Walking Dead episodes

The sixth season of The Walking Dead, an American post-apocalyptic horror television series on AMC, premiered on October 11, 2015,[1] and concluded on April 3, 2016, 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 third consecutive season. The sixth season received positive reviews by critics. It was nominated for multiple awards and won three, including Best Horror Television Series, at the 42nd Saturn Awards.[2]

This season adapts material from issues #78–100 of the comic book series and introduces notable comic characters, including Heath (Corey Hawkins), Dr. Denise Cloyd (Merritt Wever), Dwight (Austin Amelio), Paul "Jesus" Rovia (Tom Payne), Gregory (Xander Berkeley) and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Following Pete's death, the season continues the story of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of survivors, who must take a step back from the violence they've come to embrace, as multiple threats lead them to adopt a mindset of hardness.

The first half of the season focuses on the group, still having trouble assimilating in the Alexandria Safe-Zone, leading the community through a series of crises, including luring the threat of a massive herd of walkers away from a nearby quarry, an attack by dangerous scavengers known as the Wolves and the invasion of a gargantuan swarm of walkers inside Alexandria. The second half of the season focuses on the group's discovery of a new survivor community—The Hilltop—who they become allies with, and their becoming adversaries of a vast organization of hostile survivors known as the Saviors.


Main article: List of The Walking Dead (TV series) characters
File:The Walking Dead Season 6 Main Cast.jpg

The primary characters of the sixth season include (from left to right): Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, Tara, Carl, Michonne, Carol, Sasha, Maggie, Glenn, Daryl, Rick, Morgan, Gabriel, Deanna, Aaron, Jessie, and Spencer

Main cast

The sixth season features eighteen series regulars overall, with ten actors receiving opening credits billing, while eight others are credited as "Also starring". Sonequa Martin-Green and Lennie James were added in the opening sequence after previously being credited as "Also starring" in previous seasons. Steven Yeun, who plays Glenn Rhee, was removed from the opening credits after "Thank You" and returns in "Heads Up". Credited as "Also starring" are Josh McDermitt, Christian Serratos, Alanna Masterson, Seth Gilliam, Alexandra Breckenridge, Ross Marquand, Austin Nichols and Tovah Feldshuh who were all promoted from recurring status. This is the first season not to include David Morrissey, Emily Kinney, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Andrew J. West and Chad L. Coleman (since their first appearances on the show), who were all credited as main cast in previous seasons.


Also starring

Supporting cast

Alexandria Safe-Zone

  • Merritt Wever as Dr. Denise Cloyd, a doctor stationed in Alexandria and Tara's love interest.[4][5]
  • Corey Hawkins as Heath, a supply runner in Alexandria.[3]
  • Jason Douglas as Tobin, the foreman of Alexandria's construction crew.
  • Austin Abrams as Ron Anderson, Jessie's oldest son, who resents Rick for the execution of his abusive father.
  • Major Dodson as Sam Anderson, Jessie's younger son, who forms an attachment with Carol.
  • Katelyn Nacon as Enid, a teenager, who recently moved to Alexandria after surviving outside in the apocalypse for several months after her parents died and has formed a bond with Carl.[6]
  • Ann Mahoney as Olivia, an Alexandria resident, who is in charge of the community's food and armory.
  • Kenric Green as Scott, a supply runner in Alexandria.[7]
  • Beth Keener as Annie, a supply runner in Alexandria.
  • Ted Huckabee as Bruce, a member of Alexandria's construction crew.
  • Jay Huguley as David, a resident of Alexandria, who volunteers for Rick's walker diversion plan.
  • Dahlia Legault as Francine, a member of Alexandria's construction crew.
  • Michael Traynor as Nicholas, originally a conniving, arrogant, and cowardly Alexandrian resident, who later tries to redeem himself for his past actions.[6]
  • Jordan Woods-Robinson as Eric Raleigh, Aaron's boyfriend and his former recruiting partner.
  • Ethan Embry as Carter, a resident of Alexandria, who questions Rick's judgement.[4][5]
  • Mandi Christine Kerr as Barbara, resident of Alexandria.
  • Susie Spear Purcell as Shelly Neudermeyer, a resident of Alexandria obsessed with acquiring a pasta machine.
  • Tiffany Morgan as Erin, a resident of Alexandria and friend of Carol.

The Hilltop

  • Tom Payne as Paul "Jesus" Rovia, a member and scout for the Hilltop.[8]
  • Xander Berkeley as Gregory, the arrogant leader of the Hilltop.[9]
  • R. Keith Harris as Dr. Harlan Carson, a doctor at the Hilltop.
  • James Chen as Kal, a guard of the Hilltop.
  • Peter Zimmerman as Eduardo, a guard of the Hilltop.
  • Karen Ceesay as Bertie, a resident of the Hilltop.
  • Jeremy Palko as Andy, a resident at the Hilltop.
  • Brett Gentile as Freddie, a resident of the Hilltop.
  • Kimberly Leemans as Crystal, a resident at the Hilltop.
  • Justin Kucsulain as Ethan, a resident at the Hilltop, whose brother was captured by Negan.

The Saviors

  • Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan, the mysterious leader of a group called the Saviors that he rules in tyranny and the unseen primary antagonist of the second half of the season.[10]
  • Steven Ogg as Simon, a member of the Saviors and Negan's right-hand .
  • Austin Amelio as Dwight, a member of the Saviors, who kidnaps Daryl[11] and forms a violent hostile rivalry with him. He is initially known as "D" to Daryl.
  • Christine Evangelista as Sherry, a former babysitter and Dwight's wife.
  • Liz E. Morgan as Tina, Sherry's diabetic sister.
  • Alicia Witt as Paula, a member of Negan's group, lieutenant the Saviors.[12] A formerly submissive woman, who lost her family and became an unrepentant killer, she is a counterpart to Carol.
  • Jeananne Goossen as Michelle, a member of Paula's group and counterpart to Maggie.
  • Jill Jane Clements as Molly, an elderly member of Paula's group.
  • Rus Blackwell as Donnie, an abusive member of Paula's group.
  • Jimmy Gonzales as Primo, a Savior captured by Rick's group.
  • Christopher Berry as a lieutenant member of a motorcycle gang of the Saviors. While the character is not specifically named, Berry personally named him Bud.[13]
  • Rich Ceraulo as Jiro, a member of Roman's group and lieutenant savior patrol.
  • Stuart Greer as Roman, a Savior, who hunts Carol.



On October 7, 2014, AMC renewed The Walking Dead for a sixth season.[15] Scott M. Gimple said that the sixth season would continue to remix material from the comic and explained that there would be a flashback backstory to some of the characters:

"There are other people that we're going to see throughout the season from the comics, and I'm excited for people to see it, but I don't want to tell them now. I think a few minor remixes, but some direct stuff from the comic as well, as far as these characters go.

I think there's a really cool aspect to the first half of the season that serves almost as a prequel to some direct comic stuff in the second half of the season. I think there's a way that Robert did some of the story that we're reaching that had a real past to it, where people are referring to some things in the past in the comic. And we're able to portray some of that backstory in some ways that you didn't get to see in the comic."[16]


Filming for the season began in Senoia, Georgia, in early May 2015 and concluded on November 17, 2015.[17][18] The season contains three extended episodes, airing in expanded 90-minute time slots, the season premiere, the fourth episode and the season finale.[1][19][20]


Three new actors were cast to portray new characters in the sixth season, including Corey Hawkins as Heath, a prominent and long running comic book character who is a supply runner and loyal friend to Glenn Rhee.[16] Merritt Wever joined the cast in the role of comic book character Dr. Denise Cloyd, while Ethan Embry also joined the cast.[4] In September 2015, Xander Berkeley was announced in an unknown recurring role that would debut during the second half of the season, and Berkeley has an option for series regular for the seventh season.[21] In January 2016, Berkeley's role was confirmed to be Gregory, a character from the comics.[9] Tom Payne joins the cast as Hilltop recruiter, Paul Monroe.[8] On November 10, 2015, it was announced that Jeffrey Dean Morgan had been cast as Negan.[10]

Alanna Masterson who portrays Tara Chambler took maternity leave from the season in the episode "Not Tomorrow Yet" as she was nine months pregnant during the time of filming the episode.[22] She is absent from the final four episodes, and it is explained through her character going on a two-week supply run.[23]


No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
681"First Time Again"Greg NicoteroScott M. Gimple & Matthew NegreteOctober 11, 2015 (2015-10-11)14.63[24]
692"JSS"Jennifer LynchSeth HoffmanOctober 18, 2015 (2015-10-18)12.18[25]
703"Thank You"Michael SlovisAngela KangOctober 25, 2015 (2015-10-25)13.14[26]
714"Here's Not Here"Stephen WilliamsScott M. GimpleNovember 1, 2015 (2015-11-01)13.34[27]
725"Now"Avi YouabianCorey ReedNovember 8, 2015 (2015-11-08)12.44[28]
736"Always Accountable"Jeffrey F. JanuaryHeather BellsonNovember 15, 2015 (2015-11-15)12.87[29]
747"Heads Up"David BoydChanning PowellNovember 22, 2015 (2015-11-22)13.22[30]
758"Start to Finish"Michael E. SatrazemisMatthew NegreteNovember 29, 2015 (2015-11-29)13.98[31]
769"No Way Out"Greg NicoteroSeth HoffmanFebruary 14, 2016 (2016-02-14)13.74[32]
7710"The Next World"Kari SkoglandAngela Kang & Corey ReedFebruary 21, 2016 (2016-02-21)13.48[33]
7811"Knots Untie"Michael E. SatrazemisMatthew Negrete & Channing PowellFebruary 28, 2016 (2016-02-28)12.79[34]
7912"Not Tomorrow Yet"Greg NicoteroSeth HoffmanMarch 6, 2016 (2016-03-06)12.82[35]
8013"The Same Boat"Billy GierhartAngela KangMarch 13, 2016 (2016-03-13)12.53[36]
8114"Twice as Far"Alrick RileyMatthew NegreteMarch 20, 2016 (2016-03-20)12.69[37]
8215"East"Michael E. SatrazemisStory by : Scott M. Gimple & Channing Powell
Teleplay by : Channing Powell
March 27, 2016 (2016-03-27)12.38[38]
8316"Last Day on Earth"Greg NicoteroScott M. Gimple & Matthew NegreteApril 3, 2016 (2016-04-03)14.19[39]


Critical response

The sixth season of The Walking Dead has received positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the season holds a score of 79 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 10 critics.[40] On Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds a 77% with an average rating of 7.35 out of 10 based on 23 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Six seasons in, The Walking Dead is still finding ways to top itself, despite slow patches that do little to advance the plot."[41] Matt Fowler for IGN gave a 6.8/10 rating for the season as a whole. In summary, he said: "Walking Dead's Season 6 had some big, effective moments while also crumbling under an avalanche of fake outs & trickery." He praised the Morgan flashback episode ("Here's Not Here") and Carol's arc and the "string of great, violent episodes in the [second half of the season]." His major criticisms of the season were "Glenn's 'death' - and other cheap fake outs/unnecessary cliffhangers" and "characters clumsily steered into making dumb choices."[42]


The storyline surrounding Steven Yeun's character, Glenn, was a source of criticism.

Glenn's fake death in the third episode, "Thank You", was a major source of controversy. The Hollywood Reporter heavily criticized the decision of the writers to create the story line. Daniel Fienberg felt apathetic about the decision and said, "I'm not sure I care about [...] the way his death would impact the ensemble. If he's dead, the loss will be felt most by Maggie, but Maggie just had her sister die a few episodes ago, so there's no variation anymore to making Lauren Cohan wail, no matter how entirely convincingly she does it. To me, The Walking Dead has lost whatever core of human relationships it ever had, and whether Glenn lives or dies, it just feels mechanical now." Tim Goodman expressed shock over the concept of Glenn potentially being alive saying, "I honestly don't think showrunner Scott M. Gimple is dumb enough to fake this death somehow, not with how implausible it would be for Glenn to survive it."[43] The Hollywood Reporter later declared that the show had "lost its credibility" when Glenn was revealed to be alive in the seventh episode, "Heads Up." Scott Gimple responded to the controversy surrounding this. He said, "We've had instances of people in a very emotional state — Tyreese jumping into the middle of a large herd and fighting his way out; a man cut off his own hand and fights his way through a department store full of walkers. These things are part of the world. Glenn had the bad luck of being knocked off that dumpster by Nicholas, ending his own life but [Glenn] had the good luck of Nicholas landing on him. There's a lot of very specific facts about it that I think a lot of people have sort of gotten wrong. But breaking it down shot for shot … I think we're past that point. I don't think this is any sort of new instance that broke the rules of our show at all. I think it's very much in line with everything we've done before. I don't think there's a credibility issue."[44] Erik Kain for Forbes felt that the decision ruined Glenn's storyline. He declared season 6 "a mixed bag" and was frustrated with the decision to hold off Glenn's fate for 3 episodes. He said, "...the showrunners spent three more episodes essentially refusing to move the plot forward. We got one good backstory, and then two episodes where almost nothing happened to anyone we cared about. We learned that Maggie was pregnant and that's about all." When speaking of the confirmation of Glenn being alive, Kain felt the decision was "implausible" from the inconsistency of his fall and camera angle tricks. He also felt the decision to "[drag] it out for weeks" had "effectively [killed] off all the tension [...] at the end of episode 3."[45] Brian Moylan of The Guardian was also critical, saying: "Glenn is alive, and The Walking Dead will never be the same.... It would rather kill off a main character than pull a lame switcheroo. Until now."[46]

While the first half of the season received heavy criticism, many of the episodes in the second half were critically acclaimed. The episode "No Way Out," which resolved all previous cliffhangers, was widely acclaimed.[47] "The Next World" received highly positive reviews for its lighter tone[48] and the romance between protagonist Rick Grimes and Michonne by fans and critics alike, notably The Guardian[49] and The A.V. Club.[50] Subsequent episodes received praise, notably the episode "Not Tomorrow Yet". "The Same Boat" was lauded for its "strong female focus."[51] Jeremy Egner of The New York Times commented positively on Carol's character development. He adulated the complexity of Carol's division between ruse and real emotion, saying "Like always, Carol did whatever necessary to survive and protect her cohorts, and did so in particularly brutal fashion [...] but she seems increasingly unable to avoid reckoning with the toll. "Are you O.K.?" Daryl asked when he arrived. "No," she responded, and that was before Rick executed the remaining Savior right in front of her. It's going to take more than a few Hail Marys to make that image, among many others, go away."[52]

The finale, "Last Day on Earth", received largely mixed to negative reviews, with many criticizing the cliffhanger. It sparked backlash on social media from fans and critics alike. While Jeffrey Dean Morgan's performance as Negan was praised, the episode was mostly criticized for its cliffhanger ending. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 43% with an average rating of 6.55 out of 10, based on 30 reviews. The episode's critical consensus reads, "Despite Jeffrey Dean Morgan's deliciously evil turn as Negan, the meandering "Last Day on Earth"—and its manipulative cliffhanger ending—make for a disappointing season finale."[53] Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club gave the episode a C, the lowest grade given by the site for the show to date, and commented, "The problem is almost everything else. We'll get to Negan and that so-idiotic-it's-actually-kind-of-hilarious cliffhanger in a second, but before we do, let's unpack the many ways 'Last Day On Earth' went wrong. Even the title is bad—not on its own."[54] Todd VanDerWerff of Vox gave the episode a negative review, calling it the worst episode of the show so far, and commenting, "The extra-long episode spent its first hour dramatizing all the excitement of your GPS insisting that you take a road you already know is closed, and the last half-hour sank some nicely spooky moments with a too-long monologue and a completely botched cliffhanger." However, he gave a positive review on Negan's introduction.[55]

The Walking Dead (season 6): Critical reception by episode
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  • Season 6 (2015–16): Percentage of positive reviews tracked by the website Rotten Tomatoes[41]


For the 42nd Saturn Awards, the sixth season of The Walking Dead received seven nominations and three wins. The wins were for Best Horror Television Series, Best Supporting Actress on Television (Danai Gurira), and Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series (Chandler Riggs).[2] The nominations were for Best Actor on Television (Andrew Lincoln), Best Supporting Actress on Television (Tovah Feldshuh and Melissa McBride), and Best Guest Starring Role on Television (John Carroll Lynch).[56]

The season also received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the 68th Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards, which were for Outstanding Prosthetic Make-up for a Series, Limited Series, Movie, or Special and Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects (both for "No Way Out").[57][58] Additionally, the season was also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series at the 22nd and 23rd Screen Actors Guild Awards for both halves of the season, respectively.[59][60] 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 his appearance in the season six finale, in addition to the first half of season seven.[61][62]


The Walking Dead's sixth-season premiere ("First Time Again") received 14.63 million viewers in its initial broadcast on AMC in the United States. The viewership slightly declined from the previous season's record-breaking premiere ("No Sanctuary") and the fourth-season premiere ("30 Days Without an Accident"), but was the most watched television series of the night.[24] The season finale ("Last Day on Earth") received a 6.9 rating in the key 18-49 demographic with 14.19 million total viewers[39] and was a significant increase from the previous episode ("East"), which received a 5.9 rating and 12.38 million total.[38] This was also significantly lower than the ratings for the fifth-season finale ("Conquer"), which was watched by 15.78 million American viewers with an 18-49 rating of 8.2.[63][64]

No. Title Air date Rating
DVR viewers
Total viewers
1 "First Time Again" October 11, 2015 7.4 14.63[24] 2.7 4.87 10.1 19.50[65]1
2 "JSS" October 18, 2015 6.2 12.18[25] 2.5 4.90 8.7 17.08[66]1
3 "Thank You" October 25, 2015 6.7 13.14[26] 2.8 5.06 9.5 18.20[67]1
4 "Here's Not Here" November 1, 2015 6.8 13.34[27] 2.7 4.83 9.5 18.17[68]1
5 "Now" November 8, 2015 6.2 12.44[28] 2.6 4.67 8.8 17.11[69]1
6 "Always Accountable" November 15, 2015 6.5 12.87[29] 2.2 4.15 8.7 17.02[70]1
7 "Heads Up" November 22, 2015 6.7 13.22[30] N/A N/A N/A N/A
8 "Start to Finish" November 29, 2015 7.0 13.98[31] 2.3 4.30 9.3 18.28[71]1
9 "No Way Out" February 14, 2016 6.8 13.74[32] 3.2 6.25 10.0 19.99[72]
10 "The Next World" February 21, 2016 6.6 13.48[33] 2.6 4.94 9.2 18.42[73]1
11 "Knots Untie" February 28, 2016 6.1 12.79[34] 2.6 4.96 8.7 17.76[74]1
12 "Not Tomorrow Yet" March 6, 2016 6.1 12.82[35] 3.2 5.78 9.3 18.60[75]
13 "The Same Boat" March 13, 2016 6.0 12.53[36] 2.6 5.04 8.6 17.57[76]
14 "Twice as Far" March 20, 2016 6.0 12.69[37] 3.1 5.70 9.1 18.38[77]
15 "East" March 27, 2016 5.8 12.38[38] 2.4 4.53 8.2 16.91[78]1
16 "Last Day on Earth" April 3, 2016 6.9 14.19[39] 2.7 5.17 9.6 19.36[79]

^1 Live +7 ratings were not available, so Live +3 ratings have been used instead.

Home media release

The sixth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on August 23, 2016.[80]


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  2. 2.0 2.1 Cohen, David S. (June 23, 2016). "The Force Awakens Rings Up Eight Saturn Awards". Variety. https://variety.com/2016/film/news/saturn-awards-winners-2016-star-wars-crimson-peak-walking-dead-hannibal-william-shatner-bruce-campbell-1201802152/. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
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  7. Venable, Nick (August 25, 2015). "The Walking Dead Season 6 Has Cast Another Key Comic Character". CinemaBlend. http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Walking-Dead-Season-6-Has-Cast-Another-Key-Comic-Character-81147.html. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Goldberg, Lesley (September 23, 2015). "The Walking Dead Casts Key Comic Character Jesus". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-jesus-tom-payne-826720. Retrieved September 23, 2015. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ausiello, Michael; Patrick, Andy (January 4, 2016). "The Walking Dead: Xander Berkeley Will Be Playing [Spoiler!"]. TVLine. http://tvline.com/2016/01/04/walking-dead-gregory-comics-cast-xander-berkeley-season-6/. Retrieved January 4, 2016. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Goldberg, Lesley (November 10, 2015). "Walking Dead Casts Major Comics Villain Negan". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/walking-dead-negan-jeffrey-dean-836243. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  11. Fitzpatrick, Kevin (November 20, 2015). "Walking Dead Confirms the Identity of Sunday's Mystery Character". ScreenCrush. http://screencrush.com/walking-dead-season-6-dwight-confirmed/. Retrieved February 27, 2016. 
  12. Harnick, Chris (February 4, 2016). "Alicia Witt Joins The Walking Dead As Robert Kirkman Warns "People Gotsta Die"". E! Online. http://www.eonline.com/news/736967/alicia-witt-joins-the-walking-dead-as-robert-kirkman-warns-people-gotsta-die. Retrieved February 12, 2016. 
  13. Berry, Christopher (February 2016). "Christopher Berry from TWD S6E9 AMA". Reddit. https://www.reddit.com/r/thewalkingdead/comments/463mhl/christopher_berry_from_twd_s6e9_ama/d02b09y/. Retrieved March 18, 2016. 
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