Lots of The Walking Dead news today. Some was expected; some was not.
First, the expected: AMC officially picked up The Walking Dead for a fourth season. This should come as a shock to no one, since The Walking Dead is one of the highest-rated shows on any basic cable network. The second half of season three resumes in February; season four is expected in October.
Now, for the surprise news: show runner Glen Mazzara is leaving The Walking Dead. He will finish out the post-production on the remainder of season three, but after that, he will have no further involvement in the show. Mazzara stepped up as show runner at the beginning of season two, to fill the shoes of series co-creator Frank Darabont, who left the show suddenly at the end of season one. Unlike the Darabont departure, Mazzara's absence has an official reason.
The joint statement from AMC and Glen Mazzara:
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.
Producer Gale Anne Hurd had this to say:
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.
The statement from Robert Kirkman, series producer and comic book creator:
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.