Did Mad Men cause Darabont to exit Walking Dead?

$10m deal for Draper, budget cuts for Walking Dead

We know Mad Men 's Don Draper can be a bit of a bad boy, but did he really cause Frank Darabont to leave The Walking Dead ?

That's the claim made by the Los Angeles Times , which cites a new $10m-a-season contract AMC brokered with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner as the cause of Darabont's departure.

According to the newspaper, the Mad Men deal left a shortfall in funding for other high-profile AMC shows, including The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad .

The Walking Dead reportedly had $250,000 per episode cut from its second season budget and since AMC owns the show (unlike Breaking Bad , which is a Sony property) there would have been no room for negotiation.

AMC President Charlie Collier denied that the two things were connected.

“We’re investing more than we ever have before. The fact that future seasons of Mad Men were going to be expensive is not a surprise to us. We’ve taken some of the most expensive, riskiest shows around and nurtured them and managed to grow our network,” Collier said.