EXCLUSIVE: Glen Mazzara, who ran AMC’s smash hit series The Walking Dead for the past several seasons, will now focus on ghosts. He’s in talks to write The Overlook Hotel, a prequel to the Stanley Kubrick-directed The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel. The film is being developed at Warner Bros to be produced by Mythology Entertainment’s Bradley Fischer, James Vanderbilt and Laeta Kalogridis.
While King wasn’t crazy about the Kubrick movie, there are so many iconic images in that movie, and an outsized performance by Jack Nicholson, that this will be a tough act to follow. Mazzara is an interesting choice. He succeeded Frank Darabont on The Walking Dead, and while it seemed he clashed with graphic novel creator Robert Kirkman — he was dropped as showrunner in December — I think he did a fabulous job in moving forward and giving context to what Darabont started. I’ve never seen a series quite like it, and there are plenty of ghostly nuggets from the formative days of that haunted hotel that were dropped in the book and the Kubrick movie that make me eager to see what Mazzara does with this prequel. Read More »
Three months after his highly publicized exit from AMC’s The Walking Dead, former Walking Dead executive producer/showrunner Glen Mazzara has launched his own production company, 44 Strong Prods, and has signed an overall deal with Fox TV Studios. Under the pact, Mazzara will develop cable series through 44 Strong — named after his address in Brooklyn, 44 Strong Place — and will shepherd other writers on their own shows. It reunites the writer-producer with FtvS, the studio behind FX’s The Shield, where Mazzara spent six seasons. “The Shield was the show that really put FtvS on the map, and Glen was a huge part of that show’s success,” FtvS president David Madden said. “Years later, Glen has become a lauded and expert showrunner, and after his extraordinary stint on The Walking Dead, we are proud to bring Glen back home.” Added Mazzara, “I’ve had a long history with Fox Television Studios… This is where I want to be, and I couldn’t ask for a better partner as I take the next step in my career.” Read More »
Former The Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara said today that if you want to know why he suddenly lost his job on the hit show last year, he’s not your guy. “When people involved with the show are looking at the long-term plan, you know, they want something different. And what those differences are, you’d have to ask AMC,” he said Tuesday during a session at NATPE. Mazzara exited Walking Dead in December when AMC renewed the breakout series for a fourth season. “I was a hired gun coming in to support the creator of the show and, through odd circumstances, I ended up becoming the showrunner. I was just glad that I was able to contribute and not mess up the show, I see that as a win,” he added to laughs from the crowd. Earlier this month, Walking Dead supervising producer Scott Gimple was announced as Mazzara’s replacement. Mazzara was appearing on a panel in Miami with Lost co-creator/showrunner Damon Lindelof on the second day of the conference. The second part of The Walking Dead’s third season starts February 10.
Related: Kurt Sutter Slams “Small Minded” AMC Over ‘Walking Dead’ Showrunner Exit
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For a second consecutive time, The Walking Dead is reaching within to replace a showrunner. The series’ supervising producer Scott M. Gimple is finalizing a deal to become executive producer and new showrunner of the hit zombie drama series. Gimple is expected to convene his writing team to begin work on Season 4 in the next two weeks. He replaces Glen Mazzara, who exited when Walking Dead was renewed for a fourth season last month. Mazzara in turn succeeded The Walking Dead creator/director/original showrunner Frank Darabont several episodes into production on Season 2. Both Darabont and Mazzara were removed from the series. Mazzara’s departure is said to have been done under pressure from Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman, on whose comic the TV show is based.
While controversial, the transition from Darabont to Mazzara proved seamless, with the series continuing to break ratings records, including in the blockbuster recent fall portion of Season 3 whose premiere stands as the top-rated fall telecast on broadcast or cable. Gimple has been with The Walking Dead since the beginning of Season 2 when the show established a writing staff. He currently serves as supervising producer. This season, Gimple wrote the Nov. 18 episode Hounded and the penultimate Season 2 hour, which airs on March 24. The Walking Dead returns with originals Feb. 10. Gimple, repped by UTA, Thruline and Ziffren, also has … Read More »
UPDATE: Shawn Ryan, who, like Kurt Sutter, also got his big break on FX with The Shield, also took to Twitter to criticize AMC over showrunner Glen Mazzara’s departure from The Walking Dead. “AMC, WTF? Common knowledge that AMC cut Breaking Bad shorter than it should have been. Now you have creative differences w/ biggest hit’s savior? With FX, Showtime, HBO, Starz, Cinemax, A&E, TNT and others to sell to, it’s a real question now why good show runners should sell to AMC?”
PREVIOUS: Sons Of Anarchy creator Kurt Sutter has never been hesitant to tell people how he really feels and today he really let AMC have it over showrunner Glen Mazzara leaving The Walking Dead. Taking to Twitter on Friday, Sutter called the network executives “small-minded, bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of its creative personnel.” He also warned that without Mazzara at the helm the “future is dim” for The Walking Dead – and that’s the nice stuff. Read all of what Sutter had to say:
AMC is run by small-minded, bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of its creative personnel. Time and time again we see events like what happened today with Glen Mazzara. They continue to disrespect writers, shit on their audience and bury their network.
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Another high-level showrunner departure for an AMC series. AMC just announced that it has renewed flagship drama The Walking Dead for a fourth season. But Glen Mazzara, who had served as showrunner following the abrupt departure of creator/original showrunner Frank Darabont early into the second season, is leaving. Speculations about Mazzara’s future on the show started when AMC didn’t follow its regular routine of giving The Walking Dead an early pickup despite the record-breaking ratings performance of the show’s recent fall portion of Season 3. There had been rumors that Mazzara was not happy on the show and may follow the slew of other showrunners who have departed AMC series – The Walking Dead‘s Frank Darabont, whom Mazzara succeeded, Rubicon creator/exec producer Jason Horwitch, who exited during production on its first and only season, and most recently Hell On Wheels showrunner John Shiban, who left after two seasons. (Additionally, the deals of Hell creators/executive producers Joe and Tony Gayton were not renewed after Season 2.) AMC also went through contentious renegotiations with Mad Men‘s Matt Weiner and Breaking Bad‘s Vince Gilligan. “AMC is a tough place,” one agent told me. Darabont tapped Glen Mazzara as an executive producer and his No. 2 heading into Season 2, after Mazzara wrote a freelance script in Season 2. Mazzara was quickly elevated to showrunner when Darabont left.
Related: Kurt Sutter Slams AMC Over Showrunner Exit
“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,” AMC and Mazzara said in a joint statement. “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.” Here are individual statements from Mazzara and The Walking Dead executive producers Robert Kirkman, on whose comic the series is based, and Gale Anne Hurd: Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The Walking Dead is anything but. The AMC drama is to zombie entertainment what Krispy Kreme is to fried dough: an instant sensation. It broke from the gate in October 2010 and immediately established itself as the most-watched hour on cable, dwarfing the numbers of its esteemed AMC stablemates Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Killing. It earned a Golden Globe nomination for top drama series and landed four Emmy noms in 2011, winning for its prosthetic makeup.
Related: EMMYS: Drama Series Overview
And yet The Walking Dead arrived last fall needing to prove itself all over again. Why? Because in late July it parted company with its revered creator, exec producer and showrunner Frank Darabont, who was replaced by his head writer and second-in-command Glen Mazzara. Would it be the same show without the three-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker crafting the storylines, steering the ship and calling the shots? AMC held its breath, as did the legion of fans of the comic book/graphic novel series from Robert Kirkman on which the series is based. Read More »
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Six weeks after suddenly exiting the show he created, executive produced and ran — AMC’s The Walking Dead — Frank Darabont is still in discussions to continue on with an unspecified role on the show. According to inside sources, Darabont will retain his executive producer title, but just what that will mean in terms of his creative input remains uncertain. Negotiations are ongoing, and it’s “in the hands of the lawyers” representing Darabont and AMC, the source said.
Asked this morning at a second-season premiere screening in Beverly Hills if Darabont would have a role on the AMC zombie hit going forward, writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman (who created the graphic novels on which the series is based) replied, “Not that I’m aware of.” AMC president Charlie Collier said at the same screening, “(Darabont’s) imprimatur is on the show in the second season.” Darabont, who is listed as an executive producer in the credits for the season premiere, departed Walking Dead shortly after taking part in the series’ Comic-Con panel on July 22, when he appeared enthusiastic for the season ahead. He was replaced as showrunner by second-in-command Glen Mazzara, who likewise attended this morning’s informal screening. Read More »
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. Read More »
Veteran writer-producer John Tinker has joined TNT’s medical drama Hawthorne. He will serve as executive producer/showrunner on the Jada Pinkett Smith-starring series’ upcoming third season. Tinker replaces Glen Mazzara who ran the series fin its second season. Production on Season 3 is scheduled to being in the spring.
On the Sony TV-produced Hawthorne, Tinker will serve as an executive producer alongside creator John Masius, Pinkett Smith, Miguel Melendez and Jamie Tarses. Tinker and Masius go back a long time. They worked together on St. Elsewhere, and in 1986, won an Emmy for co-writing an episode of the show with Tom Fontana. Meanwhile, Mazzara has a new project in the works with Sony TV, which received a scripted commitment from Fox. Mazzara is writing the project, a medical drama, and is executive producing with Peter Tolan.
Two alums from the underrated ABC comedy (and old favorite of mine) The Job, co-star Diane Farr and co-creator/executive producer Peter Tolan, have set up hourlong projects at Fox. Farr’s project is based on her upcoming semi-autobiographical book You Can’t Love One of Them, while Tolan’s is a medical drama written by Glen Mazzara (The Shield). Both have received script commitments. Read More »