AMC has renewed The Walking Dead for a fourth season, which is not much of a surprise considering the ratings it’s been getting in the US. But there is a real surprise along with the announcement – executive producer and showrunner Glen Mazzara is leaving the series.
According to the network’s statement: “Glen guided the series creatively for seasons two and three. AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success. 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. This decision is amicable and Glen will remain on for post-production on season 3B as showrunner and executive producer.”
In a statement Mazzara says that his time on The Walking Dead was “an amazing experience… but after I finish season three, it’s time to move on. 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.”
Series creator Robert Kirkman, says in a statement, “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. I thank Glen for his hard work and appreciate his many contributions to The Walking Dead and look forward to working with him as we complete post production on season three. I am also excited to begin work on another spectacular season of this show that I know means so much to so many people. This show has always been the result of a wide range of extremely talented men and women working tirelessly to produce their best work collectively. I believe the future is bright for The Walking Dead . Thank you to the fans for your continued support.”
This may seem a bizarre decision considering the success that Mazzara has had with the show, but AMC has form in parting ways with successful zombie series showrunners. Frank Darabont, who launched The Walking Dead and showran it for season one, was abruptly sacked after not seeing eye to eye with the network. Ironically, when Mazzara was first announced as his replacement, the news was met with much fan scepticism… and look what happened next.
Is The Walking Dead a Teflon show? Can it survive any backroom shenanigans? Is it bigger than any showrunner? It’ll be interesting to see who’s taking over… And to find out what those “differences of opinion” were. Maybe it was how much they should pay Mazzara to stay?
[via TVLine ]