The Walking Dead Renewed for Season 4, Loses Another Showrunner

Glen Mazzara on the set of THE WALKING DEAD

First Frank Darabont, now Glen Mazzara. Next?

It seems being a showrunner on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is almost a precarious position as being one of its characters not named Rick Grimes. After the truncated first season of the show, Frank Darabont had a very public split with AMC and left the show. Now in the midst of its Year 3 mid-season break, “The Walking Dead” has also lost Darabont’s replacement, Glen Mazzara (above, on set), who will be leaving the show after Season 3 wraps later next year.

And oh yeah, in case you were concerned, AMC has officially renewed “The Walking Dead” for a fourth season. Considering the critical acclaim, record-shattering ratings, and the kind of fan enthusiasm that hasn’t been seen since, well, I don’t know since when, it’s amazing it’s taken the cable net this long to make the official announcement.

THE WALKING DEAD - Season 3 - Poster - Fear the LivingBut perhaps they wanted to wait a while, since they might have known a long time ago that Mazzara was leaving. In a joint statement, Mazzara and the network had this to say about the parting:

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. AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success.

Robert Kirkman, creator of the “Walking Dead” comic book series and a writer/producer on the TV show, added his two cents:

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.

So the question now is, who will replace Mazzara?

The obvious choice would be Kirkman, who has been with the show since the very beginning, and has dipped his hands in writing and producing. But he’s still a relative newcomer to the TV biz, and who knows if he, too, wouldn’t crack in a few years given the demands of running a high-profile TV show.

But the thing to take away from this? Season 4 of “The Walking Dead” is guaranteed. Let’s just hope they don’t drag the Governor plot through to next season…