AMC has announced the not-so-shocking news that The Walking Dead, its hugely-successful zombie apocalypse drama has been renewed for a fourth season. However, it appears that for the second time in the (after)life of the hit series, the ship will require a new captain.
Executive producer and showrunner, Glen Mazzara will be making what is referred to as an "amicable" split from the show after creative disagreements with the network over its direction. However, Mazzara will remain on board during the post-production phase for season 3's second half (which returns February 10) before leaving the "survival of the fittest" world full of rovers, walkers, and dictatorial smooth talkers.
Could this be seen as an opportunity for fresh perspectives? Or will the move leave the show handcuffed on a roof full of walkers after the late T-Dog dropped the keys?
Check out the official joint announcement from Mazzara and AMC below.
"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."
The departure echoes the exit of previous showrunner/creator, Frank Darabont at the beginning of season 2; a departure that, thankfully, the show was able to survive. However, it may not have been as abrupt, since rumors of Mazzara's dissatisfaction were floating about. With the official announcement of season 4 being noticeably delayed, some had already put two and two together.
The Walking Dead has always benefited from Robert Kirkman's original comic book series serving as a stabilizing framework for the show's storylines. So, while the show loses a visionary, its essence will remain untouched, regardless of personnel changes like this.