The Walking Dead has seen some highs and lows over the years, not only on the screen but also behind the scenes. That history of bad luck continued recently as the series parted ways with its second showrunner, Glen Mazzara. This will be the third Walking Dead showrunner in as many seasons, and many are beginning to wonder just what the hell is going on at AMC. But the cable network defends its decision to replace Mazzara with long-time series writer and producer Scott Gimple.
In an interview with THR, AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan talks about the Mazzara controversy and promotes AMC as a great place where “creative people can flourish.” He says that the number-one thing Sapan wants to do with AMC is create great television. Sapan says:
We love the show, and we admire and cherish the work of everybody involved who made it an extraordinarily well-crafted TV series. … In the case of Glen, we decided mutually to part ways … We really do believe that people who make great TV shows have a rare capability, and we hold them in extraordinarily high regard. Certainly it would be preferable to have as much continuity as possible. We’ll forge ahead and hope to make great shows and be the best place to work … We’ll do the best we can to be an environment where the best creative people can flourish. We’ll hopefully learn from everything we do.
When AMC fired Frank Darabont in 2011, many felt The Walking Dead’s quality would take a quick nosedive, but that was not the case. Glen Mazzara came in and addressed many of the issues that plagued the series’ first two seasons. Hopefully new showrunner Scott Gimple will be able to maintain the level of quality in season four.
Let’s keep in mind, The Walking Dead is, and always will be, Robert Kirkman’s story and creation. Although Frank Darabont and Glen Mazzara did a great job with the zombie series, Robert Kirkman is ultimately the series’ driving force.
The Walking Dead will return on February 10th on AMC.