AMC Renews The Walking Dead for Season 4... Without Showrunner Glen Mazzara

What would you like to hear first, the obvious news or the surprising news? Let's start with the obvious news: AMC has renewed The Walking Dead for Season 4.

This was a given, thanks to the show's record-breaking ratings. October's Season 3 premiere drew more than 10.9 million viewers in its first airing, and earlier this month, the mid-season finale drew 10.5 million viewers in its first airing and another 5 million in its encore; those numbers are HUGE for a cable series, and probably the only thing that could've stopped AMC from renewing the zombie drama would be the world actually ending today, as those pesky Mayans predicted it would.

So let's move on to the surprising news, which possibly explains why it took so long for the network to announce the renewal in the first place: Showrunner and executive producer Glen Mazzara is leaving the series.

Here's the official statement from the network:


Today, AMC announces the Season 4 pick-up of The Walking Dead.

AMC also jointly announces with Glen Mazzara today that for future seasons, the two parties have mutually decided to part ways. Glen guided the series creatively for Seasons 2 and 3. 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.


I have to admit that when I first heard this news, I was bummed; Mazzara is directly responsible for The Walking Dead's unbelievable improvement between Seasons 2 and 3. But then the deja vu kicked in, because this isn't the first time the show has lost its 'runner. As you may recall, Frank Darabont—the man responsible for bringing Robert Kirkman's The Walking Dead comic series to television—departed after Season 1. At the time, Tim predicted the show would be fine, and now that we're halfway through Season 3, I think a lot of us would agree that it not only survived, it got way better.

What I'm more concerned about is the apparent "difference in opinion" between AMC and Mazzara over where the show should go. I've never read the Walking Dead comics, so I have no idea if the source material is at play here, but one of the reasons AMC is so successful right now is that when it started doing original programming, it gave its show creators an astonishing amount of freedom. But now it feels like the network is making a habit out of doing battle with the minds behind its biggest shows—specifically Matthew Weiner of Mad Men and Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad—and while a lot of its past disagreements have been money- and contract-related, it's not like money and contracts don't affect the creative paths a show can take. Television is a business, and the issue of art versus profit will never die. But it worries me to know that AMC might be getting a bit more aggressive with its "network notes." And unlike Mad Men and Breaking Bad, AMC owns The Walking Dead outright. Maybe I'm just reading into it too much, but I'd love to hear your own thoughts in the comments.

A replacement for Mazzara has not yet been named.


The Walking Dead returns for the second half of Season 3 on Sunday, February 10.


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The Walking Dead's Mid-season Finale: Gov' and Hate
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Mad Men Money: Are You on AMC's or Matt Weiner's Side?

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I completely disagree. The show follows some very specific mythological motifs. I don't think there was an improvement between season 2 and season 3. In fact, I think the show was at its best season 1 to mid-season 2. My hope is that the next showrunner will encourage further character-relationship development along with surprising Zombiatic material much like the first half of season 3. This has to stay critically acclaimed, but with a somewhat limited audience. As soon as it starts to leach into popular culture, THAT'S when the quality will really start to deteriorate. Anyone remember Robocop?
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Please stay true to the story, please stay true to the story, please stay true to the story.
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No idea what goes on behind the scenes but the material in the comic that is used in season 3 is far better than everything that went before it. Which could be the reason for the improvement in the third season. Unfortunately the quality drops off rapidly after that :(
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how would u get on the walking dead. how do u get an audition.
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i wonder if glen and kirkman weren't getting along.
I'm curious though amc has been "letting go" their show runners pretty consistently. So far it's been working out but who knows how long.
I didn't read the comics of the walking dead but i hope things work out cause I really enjoy watching this show.
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Somehow I think it's a little bit premature to say that quality is going to drop when Glen leaving the show. I'd say, let's wait and see - what if those fears will not come true. The show is great - it has zombies! - and change might just be for the good. Compare s1, s2 and s3, they are all different, with different pacing, focus on different points of suvirval, etc., but they all are still great.
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Looks like quality will be dropping again after an excellent half season 2 and season three. Crossing fingers that it will not ...
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I must admit that although I liked season 3, the way TWD is written now that Darabont has left could mean trouble at some point in the future: S3 so far reminded me of many other shows in the way that it became a little more predictable and that much more happened during most episodes than in S2. The (a little) slower pace of S2 made a lot of sense to me because of the slow build-up of tension during a season and the final "big bang" (see the 'zombies in the barn', the Sophia arc or the final of S2). As it is going now, the "extremism" which is what I like so much about TWD could become boring much quicker.

So AMC apparently "won" their argument against Mazzara. This could then mean another or the old way of writing. Anyway, I'm curious about what comes next.
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You lose one show-runner on a great series - no big deal, as long as you have a plan for said series.

You lose two show-runners on a great series that is barely three years old.... uh oh.

Not saying yet it is the beginning of the end, but we all know shows that went downhill after changes made backstage, and most of those changes weren't as major as show-runners coming and going every season.

Just doesn't look too good for the future of "TWD", that's all I'm saying...
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I love Glen Mazzara! He's such a cool guy as seen on Talking Dead. Walking Dead is fantastic and since MM and BB will be gone soon what kind of leverage did they have?? He's always had great things to say about the episodes and where he wanted the show to go, so I'm a bit worried.
Well, as long as Greg Nicotero stays on I can avoid that nervous breakdown I'm saving for the series finale.
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Mad Men and Breaking Bad will be gone soon

SO AMC will be dead....
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Why fix if it ain't broken? Hope they won't break this show in pieces. I love it!
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My advice for the walking dead: watch the pilot episode of the first season. Then skip all of the rest of the first and second seasons. Then watch the third season and enjoy, knowing that you missed two deeply, painfully bad "rough draft" seasons. I wish I had.

The show can be great it just needs to ditch whatever stupid stuff the comics did. I feel like those first two seasons were HORRIBLE, which makes for such a contrast with the third season.
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Maybe he suggested there be more than one black dude on the show at a time?
Seriously though, for someone doing so well he must have come up with some nutty idea like killing Rick off. Kirkman would never go for that.
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So can we expect the same trend?

Season 1: Amazing!
Beginning of Season 2: Boring and melodramatic...
Middle of Season 2: Really Good
End of Season 2: Okay
Season 3: Awesome!
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IF DARYL DIES WE RIOT!!!!
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Is firing awesome show runners who are directly responsible for the creative awesomeness of their shows the latest fad or something? Is it the new planking? Whatever it is, it was never cool and it needs to stop.
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Seriously.... What a great first half of a season--then this news....Community, Hell on Wheels, and now The Walking Dead (again), WTF. Why can't this happen to shitty shows (with some potential) like Revolution & Falling skies?!?!?!
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Well as long as they don't listen to those bible bashers saying how violent the show should be alright.
Let's face it it's not everyone's cup of tea or coffee or what ever if you don't like it don't watch it.
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That's just a case of ratings envy. Lets face it, the show is on cable, so no one under 18 has enough money to watch it.
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You can always find a way to watch something. torrent sites might be closing down down but new ones pop up nearly every day. what kills me is the people who complain about the show oh too much gore too much death eh hello zombie movie unless of course they want to turn it into some kind of twilight crap. and now with trouble within the ranks they might get what they are looking for
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Not very many under 18 need money to watch it.

A) Kids generally stay up late watching TV, anyways. Cable their parents pay for.
B) They can torrent the episodes.
or C) They can watch 'em online legally, through streams.

Also, those who do watch, generally aren't counted. They're just estimated based on existing Nielsen viewers.
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So, basically, the show must be "punished" because parents with cable don't supervise their own - under 18 year old - kids?! I don't think so.
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Oh god no, I wasn't saying it should be. I was just pointing out how kids watch the show (that they don't necessarily need to have money to watch it).

I'm the last person that believes movies, shows, and/or video games should be censored in any way.
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I'm finally all caught up on Netflix but can't seem to find the current season anywhere - not on demand, not online, no where. Therefore, I have no idea what's going on. Bummer :c
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Without glen mazzara... it's gona be heroes ...

what a shame ...
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please oh please don't do the mistake the guys from Jericho did... keep it simple and don't turn it into the war of the worlds!!
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I'd say Revolution should snatch Glen Mazzara while it still has the chance.
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Definitely. Revolution is trying to do a post apocalyptic world and it is obvious that Mazzara has some ideas. Only issue is whether NBC would be able to air his ideas.

On a related note, I want to like Revolution but the show makes it difficult. The perfect hair bugs me but when I watched the Talking Dead show a few weeks ago I realized the biggest issue. DIRT! The Walking Dead has all types spray on makeuup effects that not only include blood but give all the characters the look of someone that hasn't showered for months. No one on Revolution looks dirty.
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Would be nice to get the showrunner and producern form Jericho on board. A great show with some of the same premises a s TWD. Maybe that would bring Lennie James back too? Even though he is busy with "Low Winter Sun"..
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this show is garbage.
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I would like to hear your opinion on why you think it's garbage. Granted there were many spots during the previous seasons where I agreed with your statement.
I think it picked up this season and is getting interesting again.
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Honestly I don't think it's garbage. I've just given it a try every season and every season had to quit. I don't feel like the show has any redeeming qualities beyond parts of the cast, which they'll potentially kill off because that's apparently what the show's about. People killing or being killed by zombies. I guess I just require more depth. And I'm sorry but a dude hallucinating because he lost his wife, killed by a zombie/ their son etc. I don't consider depth. I consider that something you'd nominate for best short story in a 5th grade writing class.

I'm seriously disappointed by how popular this show is. Maybe if Premium Channels were more widespread people would have hire standards?
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And yet you took the time to watch and analyze the so-called garbage. I can't see why you would be disappointed by how popular a show is unless you have a grudge. You don't like it? turn it off. Like the zombies, the show will live on.
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十人十色: to each their own. When a show has the highest ratings ever, and is a genre show at that, you're going against not only popular opinion but the opinion of people on the fringe.
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I wouldn't say that ever..but it is highly overrated, yes. I'd give the first season a 9/10 but everything since then has been OK at best.
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I also think that 3rd season is the best. I almost stopped watching last year at the farm. And the first one I wasn´t very sure neither. But now I am into it to the core. I hope they can keep it up.
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The first season had only one great episode, and that was the pilot. The following episode was good and the rest was pretty mediocre. The show is having it's best year right now, assuming it keeps up the momentum.
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Without glen mazzara...... This show is laid to waste........
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"it's not like money and contracts don't affect the creative paths a show can take."

Must be the most ignorant sentence I've heard in awhile. Do you even know why Frank left?
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Hey thanks for being thoughtful and not at all condescending. When I wrote that line, I was thinking of the Mad Men/Weiner dispute; one thing that AMC wanted to do was cut characters from the series for budgetary reasons, which definitely could have affected the show creatively. (Granted, Weiner wasn't budging on his creative demands while also holding out for like a zillion dollars, but that's a different issue.) I probably could have made that more clear, so I apologize if it offended you.
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This is the first article from you that I have read (apart from hearing you in the podcast) and it is very good, imo. Congrats!
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LOL..jtrolio..love your name! I'm with ya man, its a really good article and I agree with all the points you laid out; you can't please everyone, you know how over zealous fans get or just over zealous internet hounds; they go crazy to try to prove a point that they don't care about being rude or insensitive, they just want to stamp out the author because their smart....sorry super smart and better at facts and...
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lol some people are just so quick to judge that they become narrow-minded. I understood your point in the article when you said that..
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It made perfect sense to me as well. I think some people need to learn how to read.
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Or at least they should learn to comment without insulting anybody - he/she could have made his/her remark in a very different tone.
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So, I've been hearing conflicting reports on several websites, and I was wondering if anybody has heard anything concrete...

From what I've read on a few websites but has been left out here and on others is that Mazzara's didn't only differ in opinion from AMC... but also the writers and producers, including the wonderful Robert Kirkman. If that's the case, I feel like this is actually a good move, as Kirkman is the man behind the magic, and the writers are the magic behind the man...

If this information is wrong and the only dispute was with AMC, then I agree with everybody else that this is not a good sign.
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That is interesting, it certainly would change my opinion on these events. I agree that if the show runner isn't seeing eye to eye with Kirkman it would be best to part ways.
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There's no way this can be good for the show. AMC obviously wants a Yes Man but those kinds of people don't make good show runners.
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If there's zombies, I'll watch it. I would prefer it to be good at the same time though.
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LOL I watch it despite of the zombies because it is good :-D
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Did Mazzara take over for Darabont, I thought there was another guy in the middle for half of season 2. Either way, network execs shouldn't have a say in content. If the show runner is getting numbers he or she should be able to take the show in any direction deemed necessary. There's plenty in the comics to keep the show going forward, so I doubt that Mazzara wants to end it, which would be the only acceptable reason to interfere with creative power. Furthermore how often are executives former writers or directors? They are almost always people that made their way up in companies, which means they know how to run businesses not keep people entertained.
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I have to say it worries me when the person who "guided the series creatively" is leaving because of "difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward". I mean, basically it means, "this guy decided all the big decisions that made this show the number one on cable tv, but now he's talking about things we don't like too much so let's stop that." I mean, this guy STILL is the guy who "creatively" lead the show to where it is now, and that is a freaking huge success. I know that, in America, the one providing the money is the God, but that seems silly to me.

That said, maybe they'll find another awesome replacement like they did for Darabont, and it'll all be well but... it still disturbs me. Imo it's not even a sound idea business-speaking. (You don't kill the hen that hatches golden eggs, right?)
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NOTHING annoys me more than TV execs and their dedication to profits, even at the expense of creativity. Yes, ok, television is a business but I have a serious problem with that. Television is art and I believe art should be expressed through non-profit organizations or charities. This way, shows remain honest and natural and their full expression of creativity can be achieved. I've always believed that money has no place in an artists heart as all it will ever do is manifest itself in the same way it does in reality...i.e it corrupts and changes motivation.

I know this is a fantasy of mine but from a philosophical perspective I believe it's an accurate observation. Granted, it's something that will never become a reality while we're living is a greed-based consumer society of capitalism but we're all entitled to our dreams. In the meantime, for the sake of shows like the walking dead, I wish that creative expression is considered an acceptable reason for a reduction in profits because this show is loved by so many people. For the sake of art and the overall story, I hope profits is put on the back burner for now because even when this show ends, it will be loved by a loyal cult of people.

I just hope the execs at AMC are better behaved than the execs at SyFy. I just hope the execs at AMC appreciate the art and the history their creating.

Lets all keep our fingers/toes/arms/legs/eye's crossed for at least 10 seasons of The Walking Dead and maybe even a few of movies too.
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Maybe AMC wants to drag the show out and milk it for money while Mazzara wants to end it.
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No way, there's far too much comic material still to go through.
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TV shows are different than Comics. Comics can progress the plot a lot slower and still be interesting, but TV shows have to keep constant excitement and change from episode to episode. Children age, the adult actors want to move on to bigger and better things, and eventually everything just gets repetitive. I could only see the walking dead getting a max of 2 more seasons before it goes bland.
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It's possible but as a fan I want it to go on for as long as possible. Surely, in todays day and age, writers must have the ability to keep a show entertaining for as long as they want. For goodness sake, this is what their paid for and these men and women who write for TV are supposed to be the best and most talented writers. Nobody can tell me that they haven't got the creative imagination to keep a story going.
In my opinion its just writers without any backbone or self-esteem who want to end a show while its still popular. This tells me that they haven't got any confidence in their own talent.
It makes me so angry when great shows come to an end before 5 seasons. Shows like Battlestar Galactica which had the potential to keep going for many more seasons. I really hope the Walking Dead goes on for at least 10 seasons. If their smart, they can introduce new characters and keep it constantly fresh. After 10 seasons, maybe they could find a Zombie walker cure and an immunization, maybe they could even find a baby zombie and educate it to start a new civilization with humans and walkers. Ha Ha that would be funny. Only kidding. *Wink* You see why I'm not a writer - My ideas are too wacky. Ha Ha
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I couldn't disagree more. Writers who end their shows on a high are much braver than those who run it into the ground. Supernatural is a perfect example of this. 5 seasons of awesomeness followed by cut and paste rubbish. I still watch for sentimental reasons more than anything else but it's a shadow of what it once was.
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I guess I have to agree as far as Supernatural is concerned but in my humble opinion, even Supernatural in it's prime isn't in the same league as shows like, The Walking Dead, or Battlestar Galactica. These two shows I would love to go on for as long as possible, BSG especially could have gone on a lot longer than 4 seasons.
The trick is to keep fresh and stay original. There's no excuse for Supernaturals decline, no excuse at all as writers today should be good enough to keep a show excellent. If the current writers of a show can't do this or feel they have run out of ideas, then its time to bring in new writers. But as I said, thats just my humble opinion and what do I know, I'm just a viewer. I wouldn't know where to start to be a writer. (As I'm sure you can tell from my comment. HaHa)
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Ya, as for Supernatural I'm in the same boat as you are, watching it for sentimental reasons.
It was supposed to end at season 5 and the show has been going downhill since.
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Imo, usually shows that go beyond 5 seasons end up sucking. 5 Seasons is the sweet spot for broadcast/cable....beyond that it already becomes too much and I start caring less and less about the shows.
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I understand that feeling of wanting it to last for as long as posible. But I rather have them ending sooner and be good than lasting a decade and be filler after filler. If they are good, i can always rewatch it once in a while and be satisfied. I have rewatched Battlestar Galactica a couple of times and I still enjoy it. Or the one Firefly season, rewatched like a million times. But if they stretch it too much, I'll probably even stop watching. Stories have to go somewhere to be a bit good. You cannot just patch them forever. In my humble opinion.
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Oh great. I'll enjoy it while it lasts.
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After the way AMC has dealt with their other shows and showrunners, especially Hell on Wheels recently, this shouldn't surprise me, but it does. Glen Mazzara took a slow, boring, frustrating show that was starting to lose viewers and turned it into a high adrenaline, fast paced, balls out ratings juggernaut. This is very disappointing. I hope it doesn't signal a return to the slower pace and filler episodes of the first season and a half.

Great points below about: 1) how the negotiations with Matthew Weiner over Mad Men may have played a role in how AMC execs approach dealings with more recent offerings (noelrk); and 2) how this might affect future show creators or showrunners, who may not want to work for someone who will take their project away or give them the boot after only a season or two (pcsjunior002).
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Shocked.
When I wrote in the comments of an early episode of TWD that I fear that they kill off GLEN there was no thought of that. I didn't mean Glen Mazzara! But hopefully the rest is skilled and determined enough to keep the level of quality of season 3.
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This is not great news to hear. AMC has built a reputation for quality programming. Even if the quality is maintained on TWD, how many quality new show-runners are going to be interested in AMC over, say FX, when they are continually battling them? FX had what amounts to an apology press conference over cancelling "Terriers" and TWD can't go a year and a half without replacing its show-runner. Add to that significant battles with Wiener and Gilligan who head up two of the most critically lauded shows of all time, as well as being the shows that launched AMC's success in the original series department. Not saying it can't be done, and there are many quality show-runners out there. But how many people want to work somewhere where they know they'll likely get so fed up with people that they'll be fired/quit/amicably split barely a year later? I maintain hope, but this does not inspire confidence.
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Terriers was fikkin awesome!
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It's such a debacle. I vaguely remember reports about the executive and programming decisions being made by actual committee, and that can be fine, depending on structure, but it can lead to this sort of dysfunction and constant business turnover (I'm sort of thinking of UPN's struggles between Paramount, Chris-Craft Industries, and the actual network execs as a business parallel).

And a lot of it may also just be them unsure of their footing after being spun off last year, and juggling the finances of not only AMC but its other properties (IFC, We, Sundance). BB and MM aren't even theirs in terms of gaining large shares of ancillary money (where all the cash is anyway), so they need TWD to be as profitable as possible since they own it (and may be the only one they outright own, too; I think The Killing is Fox (and the overseas licencors) and Hell on Wheels is possibly theirs, but there's a lot of other companies in that mix, I think...)
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TWD has improved greatly since season 2 and has become one of my favorite shows. Mazzara has done an excellent job and it worries me that AMC claims he's leaving because "there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward".
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Season 3 was a big win but Season 2 bordered on disaster that I thought might end up killing the show for good. He was certainly a big part of the successful change in season 3 but only after he failed hard for nearly an entire season. Will they be able to find a successor, I think so and to be honest a change like this might help keep the show fresh.
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That's simply wrong. Greg only took over the show after Sophia was found in that barn, which was the mid-point of S2. Greg had control during the second half of S2, and saved that show. So no, he didn't fail, he won.
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Why don't these channels have someone in charge like F/X? John Landgraf never seems to interferes with his creators visions and seems to have a better relationship with his talented show runners than any other network. At least on F/X you know the show is what the creator intended and not the network.
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Which is why I should probably steer away from AMC and FOX when I submit my TV show.
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This is the first time I've actually been scared about the show. It's amazing right now, mostly because network executives don't mess up with it. The moment they impose their imput is Revolution rather than Game of Thrones
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This is disappointing. I actually can't wait to watch The Walking Dead now, at some points in season 2 it was almost a chore to watch the show. Season 3 has been unbelievable. I hope the show continues in the same direction but I don't know what AMC is thinking. I guess we will see with season 4.
On a side note, if AMC tries to screw with Vince Gilligan and his brilliance I will be super pissed. Leave Breaking Bad alone, and let the master finish his creation how he sees fit.
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I don´t know you, guys, but as soon as I start seing filler episodes arrive, my attention drops exponentially. I hope this is not what AMC is pushing for.
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Isn't Chevy Chase joining the cast as well?
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Messing around behind the scenes with TWD could easily backfire on the AMC execs...turning a lucrative cash cow into something that withers and dies. Come to think of it, it's a growing tendency with many AMC series...and a sign egos might be trumpeting the bottom line.
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AMC executives are clearly insane. Give a bunch of monkeys some razorblades to play with and that's what you get. They should be showering Mazzara with money, instead it looks like they couldn't wait to throw his ass out the door. Mazzara made the show about 300 % better
and this is how they thank him. Firing not one but TWO showrunners, terrorizing the cast and crew, cutting the budget... AMC executives have no shame. And to think that AMC was once considered to be a candidate for the title of " the new HBO". With these people in charge that's never gonna happen.
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AMC doesn't want a single showrunner to come to dominate them the way Weiner has. It's sort of a weird co-opt of Dick Wolf's "No one actor is the star, everyone is replaceable" mentality on L&O, but with the people who actually write and produce the show.

And I think the success of the show, ratings-wise, has proven to AMC that a showrunner replacement, in the case of TWD (provided it was money, and given AMC's past issues, it's hard not to assume that), isn't a thing that will hurt it. It came back better than ever, as I think most folks knew it would, and there's no reason to think that it won't happen again.

Compounding matters is whether or not AMC thinks the show needs a strong creative voice guiding it, though. With an on-going comic property, if you get into a fix or aren't feeling particularly inspired, you can replicate what's already been printed. (Fully aware that TWD has taken liberties with the source material, which has likely been to its benefit, but if don't know what to do, the show always has an out.)
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I think there should be a showrunner in every show. I agree that a group of writers is needed since a single writer cannot do everything but a showrunner is the person who stirs the boat... I mean otherwise the vision is lost. What would have become of Buffy, Angel & Firefly without Whedon, Sherlock without Moffat & Gatiss. Doctor Who reboot without Davies? (What is going to happen to Community without Harmon? we don't know yet...)
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And now I'm seeing Nickylucas's comment below, and my last point may be a bit moot, depending on how much material they've covered.
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They've kept Vince Gilligan though.
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Right, but a lot of that, like with Mad Men, wasn't completely their call due to Breaking Bad not being their property. Lionsgate (MM) and Sony (BB) stuck alongside their shows' showrunners in the disputes with AMC. "Get rid of these guys," they may have said, "or don't make them happy, we'll find someone else who will, and at the prices they (and we!) are looking for. Also: Don't forget how important we've been in establishing your brand."

AMC, on the other hand, is the production studio for Walking Dead, giving them a lot more control over these sorts of things, and so if Mazzara wanted more money or control (or both, and he's entitled to ask for that given the show's success), AMC can say, "Nope. Our show. You just work here. No one to really stop us. There's the door."
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You bring a good point. I've been working and toying a bunch of my ideas to do a few TV shows, and originally, I had thought about AMC to see if they would want an animated show, but from the looks of it, they'll push me around with my creative ideas or just say no before I walk in. I had thought about FOX too, but their recent difficulties with staying on schedule when broadcasting (at least they're fair with Bob's Burgers, the best show on their network) some of the series on Sunday nights. I'll probably just have a meeting with FX.
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I'm gonna miss Glen. He really turned the show from an afterthought into a must watch, top notch show. I am very interested what these creative differences were... the network probably doesn't want to kill off too many main characters (bad idea).
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If they keep the same level of quality as Season 3 has been, I have no problems with this decision. As far as creative direction goes, it can have a couple of things to do with.

1) Rick's character. Season 3 is a tough one for Rick, losing friends and family and going crazy. His character will get darker. AMC doesn't want that.

2) Episode count. Mazzara wanted 16 episodes for Season 3 because it allows them to have no filler. Maybe AMC wants to start rivaling the networks not just with ratings, but in episode count too, and wants to give TWD some 22 episode seasons, which would cause more filler and Mazzara doesn't like that.

3) Comic material. Season 3 alone burns through about 6 volumes of the comic in 16 episodes. It takes 3 years to write that much material for Robert Kirkman, and one year to air on TV. Think about the math. At the end of Season 2 they were at the end of Volume 2. At the end of Season 3 they will have burned through Volumes 3-8. Do the math. To ensure the series continues, AMC might not want them to cover too much of the comics in such little time.

One of those 3 things is probably why this happened.
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Or it could be a bit of all three. #3 is a very big issue. I hate it when TV shows are stretched. It's about quality not quantity to the viewer. Of course to a business, the latter matters more.
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