The Walking Dead Loses Its Showrunner, Will Be Fine


On the outside, The Walking Dead seemingly has it all. A legion of fans rabid for more, lots of love from the hottest network in the business (AMC), and some of the loudest buzz in the industry thanks in part to a knock-your-socks-off trailer that just premiered at Comic-Con.

But behind the scenes—as is often the case with seemingly "perfect" marriages—things are a little rocky. After Season 1 wrapped, there was some drama concerning the show's writing staff (everybody was sort of fired and then sort of rehired). Now, series showrunner, producer, and director Frank Darabont—the man responsible for bringing a zombie drama to television—has abruptly stepped down from his post, according to Deadline Hollywood. Darabont had shown nothing but genuine excitement over being part of the show, which makes his exit even more puzzling.

UPDATE: Glen Mazzara, who wrote an episode for the first season and joined the show full time for season 2, will take over showrunning duties. Mazzara previously worked on The Shield.

The transition to TV was apparently a bit tough for Darabont, who made his name in the movie business; his director credits include The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, and The Mist. Making television is much more regimented than making feature films, and with an expanded 13-episode second season currently in production (the first season was only six episodes long), it may have been too much for poor old Frank.

It's unclear how this personnel change will affect the show as a whole, but I wouldn't worry too much. Though Darabont's touch was all over The Walking Dead's incredible pilot episode (the series' best by far), I'm pretty confident that the show's tone and feel is already set and will lumber on without impediment, like a horde of undead converging on a brain farm. Plus, there's still a chance that Darabont will stay on-board in some capacity—not to mention that Gale Anne Hurd (producer) and Robert Kirkman (producer, author of the comics the show is based on) are still around.

Retain the spirit and characters of the comics, show us some zombies getting their skulls crushed as if they're rotten watermelons, and make it scary. That's all we ask.


The Walking Dead returns for Season 2 on October 16, with or without Mr. Darabont.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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WHY!!!! :C
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M. Tim Surette



I'm deeply hurt by what you wrote about Summer Glau and her fans and i hope i'm not the only one. I'm a huge fan of Summer Glau



but that doesn't mean automatically i'm a stalker or a nerd or both, unlike what you're implying in your article.



Summer Glau has played two of the most iconic characters in scifi history but i doubt these characters would have had this



impact without Summer Glau's subtile and inspired performances.



Summer Glau carries herself with dignity, and appreciates her fans as much as they appreciate her as a result.She is so



talented, driven, and engaged that she excels almost immediately in any part she plays. She is as beautiful on the inside as



she is on the outside and she has a raw and pure talent that allows her to breathe vivacious life into her characters.



Scifi shows have a tendency to get cancelled on broacast tv these days and Summer Glau is tycast, this is true; i don't recall



Miss Glau played on The Event, No Ordinary Family, V or Flasforward.



I can understand some internet users want to sound funny by mentioning the so-called Summer Glau curse but this is inadmissible



when it comes from someone who claims to be a journalist and write in such a famous website. Not to mention this is insulting



for her fans and for herself.



And don't tell me that i have no sense of humour, or that it was not meant to be taken seriously or that you're a great fan of



hers as they say each time. That doesn't remove one inch of the feeling to have been insulted.

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Frank Darabont is incredibly gifted and his departure is not good no matter how you might try to spin it.
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good, happy and relieved
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Not bad Tim.......... finally.
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Staff
The show already has a blue print (the comics), a consultant Robert Kirkman (writer of the comics) and special makeup artist (Nicotero), this beautiful ship navigates itself pretty much. It's a show about zombies guys. Not very hard to create inventive ways to shoot them (both with a gun or a camera).
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The Walking Dead is a zombie show, but it is not a show about zombies. Just as JohnFernandez2 said, it's about a group of people who have banded together, desperately trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic zombie dystopia. The creative complexity of this show is far more comprehensive than simply creating inventive ways to shoot zombies.
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wtf, you're an idiot. It's a show about the PEOPLE in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse. The zombies are a SECOND thing to the people. It's how the people react and turn out is what gets scarier than zombies coming.
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Completely agree! Did you watch season 1 efonsecajr? Most episodes had 1-3 zombies max lol. Only the first 2 had tons of zombie kills. Eps. 3-5 was all character development with the dramatic climax in the finale. More like Mad Men with zombies rather than just a zombie show. If it was like Call of Duty on TV it would be the biggest pile of horse shite ever made for TV. Watch Falling skies and replace aliens with zombies and you have the show you described.
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There is nothing to indicate what effect Darabont's exit will have, one way or the other. We can speculate all we want but until the new episodes roll out, we won't know. Darabont may have left because the network sees a different focus for the show than what he wants...who knows? Given Darabont's resume, though, I'm hoping AMC didn't try and marginalize him.
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