Ain't It Cool News (

Another New Showrunner!!

I am – Hercules!!

Glen Mazzara, chosen by AMC to replace “Shawshank Redemption” writer-director Frank Darabont as “The Walking Dead’s” showrunner subsequent to Darabont’s firing, is himself leaving, is himself departing “Dead.”

Mazzara will be leaving subsequent to the current, third season, which resumes with new episodes Feb. 10.

We’ve no word on who will serve as showrunner for season four.

Serving as showrunner on the widely reviled first season of Starz’ “Crash: The Series,” Mazzara was replaced before season two on the Starz series by the great “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” showrunner Ira Steven Behr.

Mazzara replaced Darabont midway through season two of “Walking Dead,” around the time Sophia’s return was being written. There were many subsequent season-two episodes featuring people wandering Hershel Greene’s farm talking about their post-apocalypse feelings.

For season three Mazzara remained showrunner, but many new writers were hired, among them “Sopranos” writer Frank Renzulli. Perhaps he’ll be named the third “Walking Dead” showrunner

The third season has been much, much better so far, except perhaps for “Made To Suffer,” the season three episode scripted by Robert Kirkman, who writes the “Walking Dead” comic books.

Press release:

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.


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Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 22, 2012, 12:38 a.m. CST


    by theswillmerchant

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 12:39 a.m. CST


    by Antimaster

    Not that GM is leaving, but that I got beat out for first!!!

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 12:39 a.m. CST

    What is the deal, AMC

    by theswillmerchant

    Seriously, he was doing a pretty solid job.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Really thought the first thing had righteously died away...

    by MagicJesus


  • This is going to end well.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 1:42 a.m. CST

    For fucks sake...

    by Daremo

    Watch this turn into a fucking turd now like the Vampire Diaries or some shit. Oh, and fuck you "first" posters. It's as bad as iPhone users "Safari is snappier." You all suck fat cocks.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 2:05 a.m. CST


    by StarQrtrs

    I've been first at least a 8 times this year and I have not once said anything about it. I've actually given a response to the article that I was posting on, so, agreed, firsters fucking suck tiny squirrel balls.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 2:09 a.m. CST


    by Jayemel

    Do you just like saying asinine things to stir controversy? The characters talking about their feelings is bad? "Made To Suffer" was a bad episode? Seriously?

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 2:22 a.m. CST

    "Difference of opinion" = Kirkman had that with Darabont as well

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

    If Nichole Beattie is staying, whom I credit for season 3's turnaround in quality, then TWD should be ok. But Kirkman is too close to his baby, he needs to step away imho.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 2:25 a.m. CST

    Herc really cant bear to give Mazzarra any credit can he

    by judge dredds fresh undies

    Can't resist mentioning this starz crash show yet again (whatever that was) and the second half of season 2 was no worse than the first half, it was consistantly poor. Anyway, AMC's continuing friction with the creatives is worrying...

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 5 a.m. CST

    Jon Favreau now has a Star Wars Twitter picture. ;)

    by Hardboiled Wonderland

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 5:07 a.m. CST

    The unknown factor in all of this is Robert Kirkman...

    by Prof. Pop-Cult

    How much control, pull has he had with the show? I always assumed he was on staff under a creative consulting capacity when it comes to his executive producer title. But has he clashed with Mazzarra (and maybe before him, with Darabont) and AMC sided with him? Then there's Gale Anne Hurd, whom we hardly hear much of -- isn't it her production company that produces the series for AMC? Is it actually Hurd and Kirkman who run this series?

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 7:30 a.m. CST

    I get the distinct impression Herc has a personal grudge

    by OutsideChance

    ...against Mazzara. The level of venom and the completely one-sided coverage (everything that goes wrong on a show he worked on is his fault; everything good is due to another) seems like animus, not analysis. This is part of the problem with allowing anonymous columnists here: no way of knowing if the criticism is merit based or personality driven.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 9:02 a.m. CST

    outsidechance, Herc is being Herc

    by submarinevoyage

    Herc completely bases his opinion on someone's career on the thing he first knows them for. He rarely alters his opinion or owns up to a person whose work he previously liked disappointing him or a person he disliked impressing him. Sure, most of us might say that while Crash was terrible, Mazzara also had written for the excellent The Shield previous to that and that the one season of The Walking Dead he was in complete control of, Season 3, was the most confident and well-receieved. But for Herc, Glen Mazzara is completely defined by Crash and so he can't be praised for other things Herc might like.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 9:43 a.m. CST

    Obviously it's the writers that make he show.

    by Smerdyakov

    Better writers made this a better season.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 9:48 a.m. CST


    by Nick Sheehy

    I never post, let alone whine about grammar mistakes. However, I've noticed others that do, and honestly while I dont come here expecting dickens, I do expect people who write for a site like this, to be able to form sentences, if not the first time, then at least glance over your work before posting it. I mean seriously Herc---"showrunner subsequent to Darabont’s firing, IS HIMSELF LEAVING, IS HIMSELF DEPARTING “Dead.”

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 9:52 a.m. CST

    Apparently Hercs opinion matters a lot?

    by NathanGrey

    I...I didn't know.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST


    by Nick Sheehy

    HAHA very true

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 9:59 a.m. CST

    Yeah, Season 2 was boring. 3 has been outstanding.

    by Mr Nicholas

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 11:06 a.m. CST


    by The Garbage Man

    That's an excellent insight. Totally agreed.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, noon CST

    Honestly don't get the hate for season 2

    by theGoldbergV

    There are 3 really dumb things in that season, and 2 of them came after Darabont was fired/left/whateverthefuckhappened. First is Glen going in the well. Dumb. Second was the way Dale got killed. Naff, and a poor way to write out what was once a great character. I get that DeMunn wanted to leave, but to have his death basically be a punchline was weak. Then Lori's car crash. Amazingly contrived. Single most eye-rolling moment on the show so far. The rest of the season was great. The slower pace just made the reveal of Sofia in the barn all the more heartbreaking, and with the notable exception of T-Dogg they did a good job of developing the characters. Half of the problem was there's never been an ongoing zombie TV series before, so it was like people expected it to have the pace of a movie. You can't have zombie attacks every episode, it'll get repetitive. Season 3 has still been a great leap forward though, but season 2 wasn't that bad to begin with. Nothing in s2 was as bad as the CDC episode. You know what would be fucking awesome? Get David Milch in as showrunner. Everyone'll become all poetic and eloquent and even the zombies will start monologuing.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 12:39 p.m. CST

    I have trouble putting any faith in AMC

    by heyoucantlaughatthat

    First they were lowballing Breaking Bad on their budget, there's been all this personnel trouble with Walking Dead, meanwhile they're bringing shows like Small Town Security to the screen, with another bizarre taxidermy show coming next year. Why don't they just keep nurturing the three incredible shows they already have (Mad Men, BB, WD) instead of trying to buy in to the "weird profession reality show" game??

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Kicking Your Hero in the Teeth

    by agnes

    This "difference of opinion" can only be one thing: Mazzara did his best for two seasons with the ludicrously small budget AMC was willing to spend on TWD and then had the balls to suggest that, maybe, given that the show gets more viewers than anything else on AMC, they might want to actually spend some cash on it. Here's the thing about the farm house, and the prison and all the other places that the characters have hidden out for multiple episodes: That was NEVER Mazzara's first choice. That's what he HAD to do, because he had a budget that forced him to use existing sets X number of times per episode, and to build new sets only Y times per season (X is a pretty big number; Y is a very, very small number). IT IS AN EFFING MIRACLE the show has the ratings and the viewers it has, given that it was a zombie show being shot like an episode of "ER." That should be impossible -- how can you rationally keep a group of people in the same locations for any period of time, given that if peril shows up, any sane person would run? And yet, he pulled it off. But Mazzara knows there's only so many times you can work that magic trick -- and judging from Herc's snark, maybe it only partly worked -- so since he's achieved the impossible, he asked AMC to help him keep the show vibrant. He didn't ask for $30 million, he didn't fly his cast to Hawaii, he just wanted the money to mix it up a little -- shooting on location, or or building new sets more than once a season is expensive, but it's not going to bust the bank and everyone knows it. Basically, he was doing his job -- protecting the show and his employers' investment in the show -- and their response was to kick him out the door. (The only thing I'll say on AMC's side is that they might mistakenly believe that if you give your showrunner an inch, he'll take your balls -- that's what happened on MM and AMC has taken several financial hits for it -- but if you can't tell that a decent, collaborative guy like Glenn Mazzara is a thousand miles away from MWeiner, you need to cut back on the martinis.)

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST

    I think AMC thinks the show writes itself...

    by tangcameo

    ...with comics with new plotlines popping out every once in a while. And that everyone's watching to watch people kill zombies and not thinking its as deep as Mad Men or as complex as Breaking Bad. They're wondering what they can dump and save money and still watch this show chug along. Wouldn't be surprised if after the next one or two seasons they shove another showrunner out the door of this hit, thinking "lets try someone even cheaper!"

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 2:29 p.m. CST

    This is crap

    by Humie Bubbie

    Mazzara has been in charge of the ship since the show turned around. The last few eps of season 2 and all of season 3 have been rock solid television. You can't discount that by saying there are another one or two good writers on staff. It's the whole flow of the show that changed for the better, and that has to be about the showrunner.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 2:53 p.m. CST

    Since no one knows

    by jason

    Since no one knows what the difference of opinion is about it's hard to comment on this. I too would be interested to learn just how involved Kirkman is. I'm a fan of the comics, read them all, but much of what's going on with the comics is lather, rinse and repeat. The prison story was pretty much the highlight of the series, Kirkman hasn't been able to top that. And although I quite enjoy the tv-show, it's very much a watered down version of that story. I'm thinking that they should have focused on a different group of survivors for the tv-series, expand the Walking Dead universe in different mediums. Like the computer games are about different survivors, so should the tv-show have been about someone other than Rick.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 3:45 p.m. CST

    My take on AMC.

    by Finn

    AMC's reality shows aren't the problem. Those shows cost the network very little money and are usually done by other production companies. In fact, if their reality shows turn a profit they can invest more money in their dramas. The problem with AMC is that their executives get involved with creative descicions. Show runners tend to be pretty creatively invested, and when you bring in someone else to micro-manage the storytelling and how money is spent, show runners are put in an unfulfilling position. Amc and its executives are still toddlers when it comes to experience and handling their successes. They're only going to grow up when one of their shows takes a dive in the rating because of their meddling, and it hasn't happened yet. They've been lucky so far.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 3:48 p.m. CST

    wait herc you didnt like the midseason finale?

    by jsfithaca

    what was wrong with it?

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 7:06 p.m. CST

    Glen Mazzarra's gone?

    by Baked

    Oh well. Makes me wonder who is responsible for: 1) The horrible pacing and tail chasing from the last half of Season 2 (which, while slightly more exciting than the first half of Season 2, made a shitbag less sense). 2) Sticking Michonne with the Idiot Ball. 3) The musical chairs of black male characters and their subsequent lack of actual fucking dialogue since Mazzarra joined the crew. And if this will magically go away now that Mazzarra's gone.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 8:01 p.m. CST

    submarinevoyage, but I thought Herc liked "the Shield"

    by OutsideChance

    Under your theory, since Mazarra worked on that first, Herc should be a fan.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Dead would be a greater show...

    by puto tenax

    If Ira Steven Behr were there to helm. Say what you will but there are some DS9 episodes that would make great movies.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Justified would be a greater show...

    by Richard

    If you had the creative team behind Justified working on it. Seasons two and 3 of that show were superb, through and through. The Governor is pretty good, but if he was half as intersting as Boyd Crowder...

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 10:44 p.m. CST

    ha. subject shoyld have been "Dead would be a greater show..."

    by Richard

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 10:50 p.m. CST

    outsidechance - true

    by submarinevoyage

    True, Herc does like The Shield, but he decided that since he didn't like Crash, which Mazzara ran, Mazzara must suck. So Herc hints Walking Dead Season 3 was better because of the writing staff, not Mazzara running it... and I guess somehow Mazzara working as one of the writing staff on The Shield meant nothing. Suffice to say, I don't get it either.

  • Dec. 22, 2012, 11:06 p.m. CST


    by grendel69

    Funny people hated the show the first 3 seasons and I used to defend it all the time. History has been a bit kinder to it, and people finally have realized what a great show it was. Dukat, Garak, Weyoun, Dumar, Sisko and Dax, Odo...great stuff... used to love watching those characters interact with each other. Despite my love for the OS and TNG, DS9 was the best Trek.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 1:05 a.m. CST


    by Hercules

    Mazzara was just one of many, many writers on "The Shield" working under showrunner Shawn Ryan. On the horrible first season of Starz' "Crash," Mazzara was the showrunner.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Someday this will all make

    by Truxton Spangler

    an interesting quote from one of the principals, or a semi-interesting magazine article about what really happened behind the scenes. For today, unless they bring in someone like Shonda Rhimes to run the show, it might not make much of a difference (especially if it's Kirkman or Hurd pulling the strings). AMC I don't give two shits about, as long as they don't interfere with the last eight episodes of Breaking Bad, or the remaining seasons of Mad Men. I don't think either Gillian, and certainly not Weiner, would allow that to happen.

  • That much is obviousy to anyone who's been following that post-show wank-fest The Talking Dead hosted by Chris Hardwick (I say that with affection). Kirman is on there almost as much as Nicotero and company. He's always explaining why he chose to veer off from his own comics in this way or that. I suspect the licencing deal he snagged for the comics franchise allow him far more creative rights than most would think. I have a cousin really into the comics who claims that most within the fan-community feel that the quality of the books have declined somewhat since Kirkman has turned his focus increasingly toward the television series. I suspect if Kirkman butts heads with a show-runner, the show-runner will inevitably be the one to depart, not Kirkman. History bears this out.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Good Riddens that season 2 was HORRIBLE

    by Wcwlkr

    I mean at one point I was literally cheering when the survivors fell victim to the Zombies. I was rooting for them to all be eaten.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 9:54 a.m. CST

    It seems like the fans get to vote on who gets eaten.

    by Smerdyakov

    If the fans hate your're lunch.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST

    Show is crap anyway. Seriously, do people actually watch this?

    by Raptor Jesus

    I got through almost four episodes and realized it was profoundly stupid.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 12:58 p.m. CST

    @thegoldbergv - "That horrible CDC episode?"

    by zillabeast

    LOL please tell me you're just trolling, man

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 1:37 p.m. CST

    I'm not sure who..

    by Dancingforever

    Has been the ultimate voice in creative, but i think all three season have been solid so far. Let's hope that part two of this season is as good and Rick doesn't get his hand cut off lolz. That's another change they could make from the comics that would be welcome.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Regarding CDC: I wouldn't mind a quest for some answers.

    by Smerdyakov

    Eventually this our group vs their group conflict is going to get boring. Kind of like the comic did after #50.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Zillabeast - nah dude, not trolling

    by theGoldbergV

    I have only seen season 1 once and am planning on watching it all again so maybe my view might change but I hated the CDC episode. The countdown clock, the lone guy going crazy, the talking computers, it was like watching a syfy TV movie version of a zombie show. Nothing like the gritty 5 episodes previous to that

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST

    Regardless of which writer you think turned the show around....

    by Scott Baiowulf

    The face of the matter is the Glen, as showrunner, is the one who made the decision to hire them, so he deserves all the credit for this season's success. It's a shame it's come to this again. AMC definitely won't be able to pull a quality showrunner after how they've treated the previous two. I'd guess they'll promote from within and Evan Reilly gets the gig. If not, I hope they can pull someone from the Breaking Bad writer's room who's never show run before.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:14 p.m. CST

    @thomasjarvis That makes some sense

    by Humie Bubbie

    The comic has been veering between what it does best, the exploration of a world without rules and morality, and into much more comic booky territory. The Governor as portrayed in the comics was very comic booky, the first time that the storyline didn't feel realistic. Now as Kirkman is working on the show, he's brought in Neegan, a villain who really seems like he's out of a Mad Max spoof rather than The Walking Dead. The book has peaked, I'm just hoping they wrap Rick's story up at some point soon and don't drag the comic on forever. Let the character die with some dignity.

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 8:19 p.m. CST


    by cerberus33

    Nothing funnier than to come on this site occasionally and watch the movie nerds feel tough throwing around dirty words like "fuck" to feel like a real man and escape the reality they that are nothing but a fat loser obsessed with a fantasy world. Carry on douchebags...

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 10:35 p.m. CST

    Walking Dead would have been great...

    by Kyle

    If they followed the source material ala Frank Miller/Robert Rodriguez did for Sin City...but they had to be fancy smancy and add new characters and more gay newness. Totally uneccesary, like spitting in my face. Fuck that show. I watched the first season and had no desire to watch anymore. I read the comics, and I find myself getting pissed the fuck off that I have to wait a month to find out what happens next because they're so flipping awesome and I wish they'd pump those comics out like Marvel is popping out those NOW titles...

  • Dec. 23, 2012, 11:57 p.m. CST

    octoburn dead would be a better show if...

    by HoraceSkinner

    It had boyd crowder. Hell any show would

  • Dec. 24, 2012, midnight CST

    grendal DS9

    by HoraceSkinner

    the supporting cast was so much stronger on ds9. They got what they deserved when the.didn't do a tng/ds9 movie. mistake.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 12:15 a.m. CST

    You all suck rotting dicks.

    by Queefer Sutherland

    And you swallow the pus-stinking cum.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST


    by brokentusk

    Nothing sadder than a troll who feels the need to insult others behind the safety of his computer. Sadder still, not realising that they look like an idiot while doing so because they have a username and password on the very website they're mocking others for visiting (not to mention going through the trouble of clicking a link, logging in, and WRITING a comment). Life's too short, dude.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 9:12 a.m. CST

    The Walking Dead is a good show

    by Tyrus Kitt

    every once in awhile. That's what's so frustrating about it. It verges on being a competent watch--and then a character will turn into an absolute bonehead for no reason other than the writers couldn't think of anything better to do. Fire the writers.

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 6:54 p.m. CST

    walking dead.would be great if ...

    by HoraceSkinner

    They would play the theme music going until every commercial break. That music is like crack for my ears

  • Dec. 24, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Boyd Crowder is da shit.

    by SunTzu77

    I love me some Justified.

  • Serves them right too

  • Dec. 25, 2012, 1:52 a.m. CST

    From Joss Whedon - the writer from Roseanne - works both ways

    by FrodoFraggins

  • Dec. 27, 2012, 11:45 a.m. CST

    The "Real" Showrunner of Any Show...

    by agnes

    ....isn't the person who has time to sit on the set of a talk show and natter on about "what we were going for." The real showrunner is the man or woman who's in the writers' office everyday, breaking story in the room, taking phone calls from set about stuff they're shooting in half an hour and staying late to read drafts and give notes. And anyone who's ever set foot in TWD offices knows that's Mazzara. He did a thankless job about as well as it can be done and AMC was even less gracious than expected.

  • Dec. 28, 2012, 10:56 a.m. CST

    walking dead.would be great if ... PART II

    by HoraceSkinner

    Still hoping for an AMC.mega mini series event Walking breaking mad dead Where all three series meet up. And fight zombies. And cook meth...and smoke. And drink.