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October 25, 2014

AMC Comments on 'The Walking Dead' Shakeup (Updated)

by Jean Bentley, posted Jul 28th 2011 11:35AM
The Walking DeadAfter yesterday's news that 'The Walking Dead' showrunner Frank Darabont had left the hit AMC show and Glen Mazzara would take his place, the network has finally opened up about the shakeup.

AMC released a statement Thursday commenting on the news (UPDATE: see comment from AMC vice president of original programming Joel Stillerman below):

"'The Walking Dead''s Glen Mazzara, writer and executive producer, is expanding his responsibilities to assume the role of showrunner. AMC is grateful to executive producer, writer and pilot director Frank Darabont whose contributions to the success of 'The Walking Dead' are innumerable.

We continue to discuss his ongoing role with the series. Robert Kirkman, creator of 'The Walking Dead' graphic novels, executive producer and writer on the series, will remain in this role and will continue to steward the brand. Gale Anne Hurd will remain in her role as Executive Producer. The production continues on schedule for an October 16th premiere."

UPDATE: AMC's senior vice president of original programming, Joel Stillerman, spoke to the media at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles this morning, after the network's press release confirming Darabont's exit went out. Stillerman wouldn't address the Darabont situation in any depth, but he did say that production on 'The Walking Dead' "is not going to miss a beat and we are going to make our airdate, which we announced last week is Oct. 16."

"I also want to take a second and say a very heartfelt thank you to executive producer Frank Darabont for the incredible contribution he's made to 'The Walking Dead,'" Stillerman added.

Asked why Darabont would leave at this particular moment and if there were problems between Darabont and the AMC executives or the show's staff, Stillerman said, "I don't have much to add to the circumstances of it. I really mean what I say when I say Frank's contribution series was invaluable and he is a brilliant writer/director. I will also say we have full confidence in the team moving forward."

Last fall's hit zombie show saw behind-the-scenes turmoil after the conclusion of its first six-episode season, but with Mazzara's appointment as the new boss, the drama seems to be cooling off. Production on season 2 is currently underway.

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