Walking Dead Showrunner Makes His Exit

Posted by at 10:54 am on December 21, 2012

AMC has announced that Glen Mazzara, who led AMC’s “The Walking Dead” to ratings highs after the exit of Frank Darabont, is leaving the show. The departure, came with news of a fourth-season pickup for the series.

Apparently the disagreement between Mazzara and AMC is not over money or contracts.  Rather, it is about a difference of opinion over where the show should go in the fourth season and beyond. It involves AMC, Mazzara, and the show’s writers and producers, who include Robert Kirkman, creator of the comics that provide the basis of the series.

Kirkman might be fans’ choice to take over as showrunner, given that most of its characters were born on his pages. But he also has a busy career writing comics and novels. In a statement, Kirkman said he believes Mazzara and AMC came to the decision “in the best interest of the future of the show.”

“Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways,” AMC said in a statement. AMC also said the decision is “amicable” and that Mazzara will remain showrunner for the remainder of the third season, which resumes in February. The episodes are filmed, but Mazzara will oversee postproduction. He is also looking for his next project.

“My time as showrunner on ‘The Walking Dead’ has been an amazing experience, but after I finish season 3, it’s time to move on,” said Mazzara. “I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey.”

Mazzara took over the show after Darabont parted ways with it after its first season. He was one of several showrunners to have issues with AMC: “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner nearly walked from the show during a contract dispute last year. And “Breaking Bad” briefly looked into leaving AMC last year, before creator Vince Gilligan’s contract was renewed.

Kirkman’s full statement included his thanks to its fans. “I am in full support of both AMC and Glen Mazzara in the decision they have come to and believe the parties came to this decision in the best interest of the future of the show,” Kirkman said.

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