Amid the news that AMC has renewed “The Walking Dead” for a fourth season, it was announced that Glen Mazzara is stepping down as showrunner of the zombie drama. Unlike his predecessor Frank Darabont, Mazzara’s abdication is being framed as a mutual decision with the network due to artistic differences.
In other words: it looks like AMC has learned how to let its showrunners go gracefully and quietly after their rather messy break with Frank Darabont.
According to a joint statement from Mazzara and AMC: “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… AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success.”
Mazzara is only the most recent in a string of AMC showrunners cutting ties with the network. His predecessor, Frank Darabont, was abruptly dismissed as TWD showrunner before the second season had even aired, shocking fans and sparking controversy. More recently, Jason Horwitch of “Rubicon” and John Shiban of “Hell on Wheels” have also left their positions with AMC. According to Deadline Hollywood, the network also went through contentious renegotiations with Matt Weiner of “Mad Men” and Vince Gilligan of “Breaking Bad.”
At this time there is no news on who will be replacing Mazzara as showrunner of the record-breaking show. One possibility includes executive producer Gale Anne Hurd, who has been with the show since the beginning.
Mazzara, TWD creator Robert Kirkman, and Hurd all released brief statements about the announced change in leadership:
“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. 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.” – Glen Mazzara
“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 3. 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.” – Robert Kirkman
“I am appreciative and grateful to Glen for his hard work on ‘The Walking Dead.’ I am supportive of AMC and Glen’s decision and know that the series is in great hands with one of the most talented and dedicated casts and crews in the business. I look forward to the show’s continued success.” – Gale Anne Hurd
“The Walking Dead” is currently in its mid-season break and new episodes will be aired starting in February.