AMC issues statement on 'Walking Dead'

AMC broke its silence on the recent major showrunner shakeup that’s impacted its highest-rated series, The Walking Dead. No big revelations, but here’s the 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 Oct. 16 premiere.

AMC also announced its first digital series, titled The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks. The 40-minute project stars Adam Goldberg and Jeffrey Tambor and will premiere as a co-release on amctv.com and Hulu.com on Aug. 22. The series is part of a new project by the network, AMC Digital Studios, which aims to create original content for the Web.

The Trivial Pursuits of Arthur Banks is about a theater director (Goldberg) who stages an elaborate play that mirrors his dysfunctional love life. Aided by his therapist (Tambor) and the actors within his meta-life, Arthur attempts to unsort the complex issues that occur each time he falls in love.

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  • Gre

    I hope that Darabont gets to continue to dictate the feel of the show, even if handling the day-to-day was not his cup-of-tea.

    • bob

      I have a friend who works on the Hollywood scene, and he said the rumors swirling around town are that Darabont was extremely difficult to work with on the procedural stuff, like meeting with executives and such. Apparently he’d have meetings in his own house that he’d be hours late to, leaving the execs hanging basically. This is interesting, since it seemingly contradicts reports of him as a movie director, where he’s easygoing and very amicable on set. Who knows.

      • han solo

        When I hear stuff like that, I think it could be the rumors are manufactured by the people who took over and pushed someone out. Typical power plays. But like you, I admit that none of us know for sure.

      • charles

        I don’t think it’s contradicting. He feels like at home on the set and feels very uncomfortable in the meetings. He is a creative person and not a suit.

  • mia

    As long as the show stays as great as it was season one, I don’t give a rat’s behind who the showrunner is.

    • Hal

      I think that’s the fear. Which is why people do care that Frank Darabont, a proven talent, is stepping down.

      • sean

        exactly. the pilot, which he wrote and directed, is the epitome of quality not only for the series, but for television in general. IMHO, none of the other episodes quite reached the quality of the pilot, but they were all better than average. i was really looking forward to him writing and directing the season opener of S2.

  • Two Headed Sex Beast

    Darabont stiffed us!

  • Mikey

    WALKING DEAD: Season 2, meet HEROES: Season 2. You may hit it off well.

    • DTO

      I enjoyed the pilot of THE WALKING DEAD a great deal. Afterwards, the quality of the eps swung back and forth from reasonably entertaining to crap. That season finale was the most anticlimactic thing I’ve seen in recent memory. I’m hoping it was the truncated first season that was the problem and that a full 13 eps will do the show justice. After all, BREAKING BAD was good in season one but didn’t fully hit its stride until season 2,in which it had a full 13 to tell the story. Darabont can be hit-or-miss. SHAWSHANK is awesome, but GREEN MILE is only okay and THE MIST sucks.

      • amy

        this is the first comment in regards to the walking dead i’ve agreed with. i love zombies and amd a huge fan of the comments but the show is slow, unrealistic and just not quality television. also, eff the mist.

    • commentor

      The Mist was awesome, and no part of the Walking Dead was crap.

      • Peter

        I stopped watching TWD after they all stood around going “Oooo! Arrgh!” with exposed skin as the hero (wearing protective gear) flung infected gore everywhere. I suppose I should have turned off my brain and just thought “Whoa, how gory for TV!” like they wanted me to.

    • calvin

      @Mikey: Don’t say that! It scares me!

      • Weligton

        I have 2 10 speed folding bikes that need some work but are otwsrhiee usable. If anybody wants them they are welcome. Otherwise I am going to throw them away. Accepting them gives you no obligation. If you later decide you don’t want them either pass them on to someone else or give them a decent burial.

  • ERNIE

    Darabont needs to tackle The Long Walk asap!

  • Jason

    Dear Mr. Mazzara,

    Please bring any notes or sensibilities that might have been gleaned from your time on The Shield to the table for The Walking Dead. Please deposit any lingering mental residue from Crash and Hawthorne into a barrel along with a thermite grenade.

    Regards,

    A Concerned Walking Dead Fan

  • DavidJ

    According to TVLine.com, leaving might not have been Darabont’s decision. Sounds more like he was pushed out.

    • Matt

      I’ve been wondering the same thing; it seems that Kirkman has really been the face of this show for some reason; I wonder if it was like a Matt Groening/Sam Simon kind of thing. Hope not.

  • Alex Downs

    I hope and pray down on my cine-skinned knees that frank’s stepping back from “walking”means that stephen king/grazer/Howard realize that frank darabont must and should step forward as director behind “The Dark Tower”….if ever there was a case of “duh” in the movies and “duh” in the case of king adaptations and “duh” in the case of Howard hawks genre understanding — it’s that frNk should be manning this enterprise. He should be bringing his run and gun approach to this bloated Howard/grazer misfire. Both H&G are great producers and have impeccable taste, so get’er done and send out the press release saying “welcome aboard to FD in TDT. I can’t stay in this supplicant prayer pose forev!

    • fray

      keep darabont away from the tower!!! he’s not nearly dark enough for it.

      • Kobolos

        He gives The Mist the ending Stephen King wished he had written and he isn’t dark enough? Darabont on The Dark Tower is Ka.

  • schaden

    TVline.com said that sources say Darabont “was blindsided by his ouster from the series”. If the show’s going to let go of a huge talent like Darabont, who helped make season 1 outstanding, they better not ruin the following seasons. I hear The Governor will be making his appearance in season 3? Oh boy.

    • han solo

      We will know by the 4th or 5th episode (that’s about where they are now in production, right?) If the new people ruin this show, I’m not going to stick around for the slow lingering death.

  • ASolo44

    This show is good – not great. Went down hill sharply after the first episode (Which I think is the only one Darabont directed?) I’ll give it a few more episodes, but if the acting a writing doesn’t get better, them I’m out. Who’s coming with me?

    • ASolo44

      I will proof-read before the next post

  • Clete

    The rest of the statement. Be assurred that AMC will insure that all of the hundreds of commercials will be shown.

  • David Young

    I wonder what Charlie Kaufman has to say about the Goldberg project and its uncanny resemblance to Synecdoche, NY.

  • Brock

    The first season of the Walking Dead was HIGHLY messy and poor written/run. It appeared to have no clear direction and was filled with absurdities like the Latin gangsters looking after old women, and editing that showed the group moving from place a to place b without telling us how they avoided all the zombies.
    A very messy show that needs to be run much tighter with more vision (holy crap the finale showed how bad the running of the show was).
    Season 1 of TWD was completely incomparable to Heroes season 1 but hopefully Season 2 will be.

    • James

      Wait a second: You want season 2 of TWD to be comparable to Heroes Season 1, not Heroes season 2, right? We don’t need any nondescript Latin-Americans oozing black stuff from their eyes. lol.

  • James

    The show sucked and had too much stupid personal filler drama (wife-beating, attempted rape, racism), that just completely made it obvious that the writers were trying waaayyy too hard to do what all writers of ensemble casts try too hard to do: Make it about social issues and stuff. It doesn’t work. It never works. Follow the Lost model: Create interesting PEOPLE, not (supposedly) interesting interactions between people I really really don’t care about.

    Also: MORE F**KING ZOMBIES.

  • Anonymous

    AMC: Money Matter Here

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