'The Walking Dead' Season 9 Premiere Date Announced

The Walking Dead is officially returning on Sunday, Oct. 7, with series star Jeffrey Dean Morgan announcing the news in a clip posted to social media on Friday.

"We let him out of jail for a very important message," the show's account joked along with the video.

"Tune in October 7th for the premiere of The Walking Dead," Morgan tells fans.

The clip added that the show will return at 9 p.m. ET on AMC, with the first episode, titled "A New Beginning," directed by executive producer Greg Nicotero. The episode will be almost 90 minutes long and serves to set up a potential new direction for the long-running series.

The show officially announced on Thursday, Sept. 20 that it would return on Oct. 7, and confirmed on Friday that the series will air at 9 p.m. ET.

The tweet prior to that one included the Season 9 trailer, which gives fans a glimpse of what they can expect from the zombie-centric show's next season.

Fans already know that Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes will bid farewell to the show sometime this season, but the character does feature heavily in the trailer. Lauren Cohan's Maggie will also exit the series this season.

As for Morgan, who helped announce the premiere date, his villainous Negan has been defeated, and the walkers are now the biggest problem facing every one of the human survivors.

In a Negan-like move, Grimes will now wield a mace-inspired baseball bat as he prepares to fight this latest enemy, with the character's inner drive totally different now that Carl (Chandler Riggs) has died.

"I think that when we got the news that Carl was dying on the show, it certainly for me, it felt like very much a bookend of a much bigger journey that began in the hospital," Lincoln told Comicbook.com. "Searching for his wife and his son were the two engines that kept this man alive at the beginning of the show eight years. To lose the second engine that fueled him, at this point, certainly did feel, to me personally, not just the end of a chapter but a book, really."

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Photo Credit: AMC