EXCLUSIVE: The Walking Dead executive producer Glen Mazzara is taking the reins of AMC’s The Walking Dead following the exit of creator/executive producer/showrunner Frank Darabont. Deadline broke the news last night that Darabont is stepping down as showrunner of the series he shepharded to the small screen, with Mazzara as a candidate to replace him. According to sources close to the hit zombie drama, Mazzara, who joined the show at the beginning of Season 2 as No. 2 to Darabont, will now indeed be the series’ new showrunner. He remains an executive producer alongside Robert Kirkman, on whose comic the series is based, and Gale Anne Hurd. It is still unclear if Darabont will stay on and in what capacity as those conversations are still ongoing. “We hired Glen Mazzara as our Number 2 in the room,” Darabont said in a Deadline interview last month. “We consider him our head writer and he’s just a fantastic asset.” Production on Season 2 of Walking Dead has not been interrupted by the showrunner change, and the series remains on target for an Oct. 16 premiere. Mazzara has been part of The Walking Dead since Season 1 when he wrote one of the six episodes as a freelancer. The Shield alum Mazzara recently served as showrunner on the first season of Starz’s Crash and the second season of Hawthorne.
EXCLUSIVE: Glen Mazzara has closed a deal to join AMC’s breakout hit The Walking Dead as a writing executive producer and No.2 to creator/ executive producer/ director Frank Darabont for the show’s upcoming second season. He is in the process of putting together a staff of about 5 writers.
The move comes 3 months after the writing staff for The Walking Dead’s first season was disbanded, including then-No. 2 to Darabont, writing executive producer Charles “Chic” Eglee (most of the writers were let go, Eglee joined another project, FX’s Powers). At the time, Durabont was exploring the idea of forgoing a writing staff altogether in favor of using freelancers. In the end, the show is reverting to the traditional writing staff model with a staff comparable or a little bigger in size to Season 1 whose order was for 6 episodes vs. 13 for Season 2. One of the 6 episodes of Walking Dead‘s first season was written on freelance basis by Mazzara.