Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Walking Dead: Why Did AMC Fire Showrunner Frank Darabont? THR Blames AMC's Joel Stillerman

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 11, 2011 at 6:13AM

Many media folk have been trying to get to the bottom of why AMC fired showrunner Frank Darabont off its most successful show, The Walking Dead. THR's Kim Masters comes up with some answers, although AMC is keeping Darabont and others mum. Not surprisingly, two of the usual factors, greed and ego, are involved. What's astonishing is how much AMC's head of original programming, Joel Stillerman, the villain of Masters' piece, seems willing to risk the quality of his biggest hit in order to reap profits.
1
Thompson on Hollywood

Many media folk have been trying to get to the bottom of why AMC fired showrunner Frank Darabont off its most successful show, The Walking Dead. THR's Kim Masters comes up with some answers, although AMC is keeping Darabont and others mum. Not surprisingly, two of the usual factors, greed and ego, are involved. What's astonishing is how much AMC's head of original programming, Joel Stillerman, the villain of Masters' piece, seems willing to risk the quality of his biggest hit in order to reap profits.

Doesn't Stillerman realize that the scope and scale of the outdoor survival zombie drama is essential to its success? The Walking Dead played like a movie, and turning into just another routine cable series will cost AMC in the long run. Writer-director Darabont fought every day for that quality, and with him gone, even other strong contributors to the show will be running scared.

This article is related to: Genres, TV, Horror , AMC


E-Mail Updates








Thompson on Hollywood

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.