Prepare to lose some of that Christmas cheer. Glen Mazzara, who stabilized AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD after the abrupt departure of Frank Darabont and returned it to one of the best shows on TV, is leaving the show after season 3. This comes on the heels of the announcement that AMC has (duh) renewed the show for a fourth season. I’m beginning to wonder if AMC and its creative talent don’t work so well together (see: the weird treatment of BREAKING BAD, Weiner and company’s year long hiatus on MAD MEN, whatever happened to THE KILLING, and Darabont with TWD).
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.”
Here’s AMC’s statement: “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 [the remainder of the third season, which starts in February] as showrunner and executive producer.”
Here’s Robert Kirkman’s: “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.”
It’s hard to know what to think or believe, but Glen Mazzara was clearly the right man to follow Darabont, and now, fans have to hope that the baton is passed to the right man or woman again. We shall see. Hopefully this doesn’t blunt the excitement of the second half of season 3. I’d wager that Mazzara is going out with a bang.