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TCA News: Hamm To Direct Mad Men Premiere, AMC Offers No Darabont Details on Walking Dead Exit

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 28, 2011 at 4:41AM

The annual Television Critics Association panels are under way in Los Angeles. New news from Thursday's AMC panel: Mad Men star Jon Hamm will direct the Season Five premiere, which starts filming next week.
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Thompson on Hollywood

The annual Television Critics Association panels are under way in Los Angeles. New news from Thursday's AMC panel: Mad Men star Jon Hamm will direct the Season Five premiere, which starts filming next week.

And while there was some hope that light might be shed on the surprise departure of Frank Darabont, creator and showrunner of AMC's popular zombie series The Walking Dead, AMC exec Joel Stillerman dodged questions and AMC supplied a statement:

The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara, writer and executive producer, is expanding his responsibilities to assume the role of showrunner. AMC is grateful to executive producer, writer and pilot director Frank Darabont whose contributions to the success of The Walking Dead are innumerable. We continue to discuss his ongoing role with the series.

Robert Kirkman, creator of The Walking Dead graphic novels, executive producer and writer on the series, will remain in this role and will continue to steward the brand. Gale Anne Hurd will remain in her role as Executive Producer. The production continues on schedule for an October 16th premiere.

Hurd didn't mention any shake-ups in our conversation at Comic-Con.

This article is related to: TV, Mad Men, AMC


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.