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AMC Slammed By 'The Shield' & 'Sons Of Anarchy' Creators After 'Walking Dead' Showrunner Glen Mazzara Leaves Series

Television
by Cain Rodriguez
December 27, 2012 3:45 PM
5 Comments
  • |
The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead” can’t catch a break. After losing Frank Darabont as showrunner after the first season, the show carried on with a lower budget (and a new writing staff) under the tutelage of Glen Mazzara, growing in viewership (it's now the biggest drama on TV, networks included) and, by most accounts, in quality too. Despite maintaining the same level of viewership, in fact the mid-season finale had a record high of viewers tuning in, and a fourth season renewal, the zombie show is once again without a showrunner, with Deadline reporting that Mazzara has left the show after creative differences with network AMC.

Although never quite matching the same heights as the Darabont-helmed pilot, Mazzara was able to keep the show more-or-less afloat under the reduced budget given by AMC. The network is famously stingy and combative towards its flagship programs, as “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” showrunners Vince Gilligan and Matthew Weiner can attest and, as Deadline notes, has a history of other showrunners quitting in frustration.

For what it’s worth, two fellow showrunners have taken to Twitter (via Deadline) to criticize the network over its treatment of the creative forces behind its programs. “The Shield” creator Shawn Ryan tweeted “AMC, WTF? Common knowledge that AMC cut ‘Breaking Bad’ shorter than it should have been. Now you have creative differences w/ biggest hit’s savior? With FX, Showtime, HBO, Starz, Cinemax, A&E, TNT and others to sell to, it’s a real question now why good show runners should sell to AMC?”

Kurt Sutter, the infamously profane creator of “Sons Of Anarchy” didn’t hold anything back when he tweeted “AMC is run by small-minded, bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of its creative personnel. Time and time again we see events like what happened today with Glen Mazzara. They continue to disrespect writers, shit on their audiences and bury their network. Mazzara took the work-in-progress that was ‘Walking Dead’ and turned into a viable TV show with a future. Without him, that future is dim. Showrunners are not development executives, we’re not cookiecutter douchebags that you plug into a preexisting model. TWD will suffer. Even Zombies need consistency. ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ will be gone soon. So will AMC. I hope their f*cking stock takes a dive and the shareholders line up (Josh) Sapan, (Charles) Dolan and (Charlie) Collier and shit in their open hands. C*nts.”

So, yeah, it’s fair to say the network is taking a pretty good beating regarding its treatment of their creative staffs. Currently there’s no word on who will be taking over as showrunner for “The Walking Dead” but we’d imagine AMC is looking to get somebody named as a replacement fairly quickly.

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5 Comments

  • jsnack | March 30, 2014 9:31 PMReply

    "Mazzara took the work-in-progress that was ‘Walking Dead’ and turned into a viable TV show with a future." What a joke. The show basically took a nose dive after season 1 which is apparently when this guy took over. Perhaps whoever replaces him can save this shit from itself.

  • nightgoat72 | December 27, 2012 5:37 PMReply

    Hahaha "cunts". That rant was awesome.

  • jacque demolay | December 27, 2012 3:54 PMReply

    To be fair, Breaking Bad and Mad Men are easily the two most creatively consistent and flawlessly executed shows on television. Maybe AMC doesn't make it easy but if Vince and Matthew can do what they do so damned well, then obviously AMC isn't completely devoid of reason or sense.

    But, there is a point to be made: With Mad Men and Breaking Bad nearing their respective ends, and TWD being shafted like this, AMC is likely going to need some serious firepower to fill these holes. And if they're shitting on their own hit-makers like this, then that's going to be hard to do. Calling them "c*nts" on the interwebs is extremely childish and stupid, but the fact remains if they cook their golden geeese, they will be in bad shape.

  • Ray H | December 27, 2012 9:12 PM

    Both Breaking Bad and Mad Men have had troubled behind-the-scenes drama, but they have the advantage of being produced by Sony and Lionsgate, respectively. They just negotiate for AMC to air them. If AMC got too pushy, the studios could take the show to another network. AMC owns and produces The Walking Dead outright and does whatever it feels like to its staff.

  • Sean | December 27, 2012 6:50 PM

    Well it's well known knowledge that Vince had thoughts of leaving Breaking Bad and Matthew has threatened to leave Mad Men. If it weren't for those two men, and subsequently the quality and work they put into their shows, AMC would be dead. Walking Dead gets viewers, but people still complain of quality. Other than that, AMC has been turning into a reality based network with all these shitty, staged reality shows. It's like what happened with the History Channel.

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