After “The Walking Dead” surged to new highs in the ratings and renewed appreciation among critics and fans in Season 3, AMC has made the rather shocking and inexplicable announcement that showrunner Glen Mazzara will not be returning for Season 4.
Mazzara took over for original showrunner Frank Darabont during Season 2 and many credit Mazzara with the show’s increased action, accelerated pace and unpredictable storytelling. The decision is said to be mutual, and Mazzara will continue his duties through the second half of Season 3, which launches in February 2013.
The following are the official statements from AMC, Mazzara and his fellow executive producers Gale Anne Hurd and Robert Kirkman.
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.
Statement from Glen Mazzara:
My time as showrunner on ‘The Walking Dead’ has been an amazing experience, but after I finish season 3, it’s time to move on. I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey.
Statement from Gale Anne Hurd:
“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.”
Statement from Robert Kirkman:
“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.”