Danai Gurira as Michonne in "The Walking Dead." 

Danai Gurira as Michonne in "The Walking Dead."  Credit: AMC/Michael Muller

AMC's "The Walking Dead" franchise will expand to a third series set to premiere next year. 

The cable network announced Monday that the as-yet-untitled show will feature "two young female protagonists and focus on the first generation to come-of-age in the [zombie] apocalypse." The series follows the 2010 flagship drama and its 2015 spinoff "Fear the Walking Dead," and will begin production on 10 episodes this summer in Virginia.

It was co-created by Scott M. Gimple, chief content officer of the "Walking Dead" universe that originated with the comic books by writer Robert Kirkman and artists Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, and showrunner Matt Negrete, a writer and producer on "The Walking Dead" for the past five seasons.

"We're thrilled that the 'Dead' will keep walking into a new corner of the post-apocalyptic world, a corner that will present stories and characters unlike any that 'The Walking Dead' has dramatized thus far," David Madden, president of programming for AMC Networks and AMC Studios, said in a statement.

"MORE @TheWalkingDead ??!!! Whoa!!" Kirkman tweeted on Monday. 

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