AMC has renewed The Walking Dead for a fourth season — but in a twist, showrunner Glen Mazzara, who took over the reigns following the sudden departure of Frank Darabont early in Season 2, is stepping down.
Rather than leave it to speculation as to whether creative differences are at the forefront of the exit, both Mazzara and AMC have come right out in a joint statement and admitted:
“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.”
Individual statements from Mazzara and The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd, follow:
Glen Mazzara: 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.
Robert Kirkman: 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.
Gale Anne Hurd: 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.
The show has upped the ante under Mazzara’s stewardship, but it’ll be interesting to know where the creative fault lines are in the current direction of the series. This showrunner carousel can’t be ideal for the show though, hopefully it can land on some stability at some point. Whatever the disagreement, let’s hope the decision is in the best interests of the story.
Mazzara’s replacement has not yet been announced.
Mazzara’s announced exit as showrunner comes on the heels of showrunner John Shiban’s departure from Hell On Wheels.