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 »
UPDATE WEDNESDAY 10:45AM: AMC just issued a statement confirming “that there will be changes to the writing staff” of The Walking Dead.
EXCLUSIVE TUESDAY 5PM: I hear The Walking Dead writer/ executive producer/ director Frank Darabont has let go of the writers on the hot freshman AMC series, which has already renewed for a second season. That includes Darabont’s No. 2, writing executive producer Charles “Chic” Eglee. Writer turnover on series between seasons is commonplace but wholesale overhauls are unusual. What’s more, I hear Darabont is looking to forgo having a writing staff for the second season of Walking Dead altogether and assign scripts to freelancers.
Darabont, who hails from the feature world with The Young Indiana Jones as the only series credit before Walking Dead, ended up writing 2 of the first season’s 6 episodes of Walking Dead – the pilot and the second episode – and co-writing/rewriting the other 4. Two of those 4 were written by non-staff writers, one by executive producer Robert Kirkman, on whose comics the series is based, and one by Glen Mazzara. The freelance model is employed by the Starz/BBC series Tourchwood, which in turn borrowed it from the U.K. where the show originated. Having BBC as producer has allowed Torchwood to proceed with no writing staff but I hear such a plan on an U.S.-based network series such as Walking Dead may face issues with … Read More »