By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood December 21, 2012 at 1:20PM
Yet again there is a creative parting of the ways on hugely popular AMC series "The Walking Dead," which the cabler is renewing for a fourth season. "The Walking Dead" series based on Robert Kirkman's zombie graphic novels was first created by writer-director Frank Darabont ("The Shawshank Redeption"), who left after Season One. After that AMC and remaining executive producer Gale Anne Hurd relied on exec producer and showrunner Glen Mazzara, who shepherded Season Two and Three.
For my money, Season One was the best-written and relied on strong characters to drive the plot, but there was enough DNA and juice from both the original graphic novels and Darabont's contributions to sustain Season Two. Season Three, however, while it was enhanced by the addition of sexy villain The Governor (Brit David Morrissey) to the ragtag band of survivors led by another Brit actor, Andrew Lincoln, went much more in the direction of gory zombie action--and was the weakest. The ratings went up, natch. The series boasts the biggest telecast for any drama series in basic-cable history; 10.9 million total viewers tuned in to the October 14 season premiere.
So we can expect more of same. Sigh.
Now Mazzara is leaving. "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," stated AMC. "This decision is amicable and Glen will remain on for post-production on season 3B as showrunner and executive producer."
“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.”
"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."
"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."