"The Walking Dead" is working up to Rick Grime's (Andrew Lincoln) exit off the show, which is slated to happen after just a few more episodes Then news swirled of Maggie Rhee's (Lauren Cohan) exit from "The Walking Dead" following Rick's exit. Now it looks like another main character, Michonne (Danai Gurira) is next in line to go.

Andrew Lincoln leaves - Demise of Rick Grimes

The news of Andrew Lincoln's departure broke back in May. His exit from the show puts Rick's character in line for a demise - is that death?

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With just a few more episodes left, Rick's departing scenes have "The Walking Dead" die-hard fans on the edge of their seats as they watch and wait.

Angela Kang, who is a veteran writer on the show, said that Andrew Lincoln's decision to leave the show didn't come as a surprise. The British actor is living on the other side of the pond from his family as he films "The Walking Dead." That's not easy for any family man to do.

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The show goes in a new direction

Kang is taking over for Scott M Gimple, who is the boss, and she's pointing the show in a new direction. The "All Out War" storyline has grown old for some viewers. With that said, Kang is amping up the pace and moving away from that long-running storyline.

Rick Grimes character is written out of the show. This is a show with the word "dead" in the title, so losses are to be expected, said Kang. Although, not all departures necessarily mean deaths for the show's characters.

Maggie Rhee leaving the show

Maggie's character is open-ended as Lauren Cohan is scheduled to work on other projects, so her departure is more like a "scheduling thing." Kang said, it looks like Maggie is in future storylines, but for now, Maggie will leave in an upcoming episode.

Now that fans are wrapping their heads around Rick's pending demise, a glimmer of light comes from the new boss of the show. When Kang was asked if Rick could one day make a return to the show, the answer might surprise the fans who are already morning Rick's assumed pending death.

Will Rick come back?

Kang said Rick's character is definitely exiting the show this season. But... "who knows what time may bring. We always love our Andrew, so since we've got some time jumps you never know what might happen."

The numbers are still up there

"The Walking Dead" ratings are down, but the new trend of binge-watching, along with the rise of streaming services for TV might account for some of those number losses.

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Last season "The Walking Dead" hit the 8 million mark regularly. The show had it's peak ratings in season 5 when 17.29 million viewers tuned in.

Just to put the ratings into perspective, "Breaking Bad" peaked at 10.28 million for their highest numbers during the show's run. "Game of Thrones" brought in 8.89 million in their latest episode for its highest numbers so far.

The show hints to Michonne's death

What about Michonne's character on "The Walking Dead?" The Huffington Post suggests there's evidence that Danai Gurira's Michonne will be among those who meet with death somewhere down the line.

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It is the new opening credits that create speculation of Michonne's demise. These opening credits show images that appear to represent the plot points during this new season 9.

In the images created for the opening credits, silhouettes of two people on horses seem to represent Rick and Michonne. Then there are graves of people who died on the show, with what looks like Hershel/Glenn's pocket watch hanging off one of them.

Graves of those who passed

This would represent the grave of Maggie's father, Hershel Green (Scott Wilson), and her husband, Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun). A representation of Carl Grimes' (Chandler Riggs) grave appears on the left side of the screen.

According to the Huffington Post, it is the graves seen with the silhouettes in the picture that seem to hint to both Rick Grimes and Michonne's death. Does this mean along with Rick and Maggie that Michonne's character will also meet with demise?

It is "The Walking Dead" and main characters have been wiped off the show from the beginning of this AMC venue so popular characters kicking the bucket are something fans have come to expect. With that said, three huge characters with long-running status going all at once might be too much. Will "The Walking Dead" walk too many living off their show?

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