In no surprise to anyone ever, AMC announced today that they have renewed The Walking Dead for a fourth season. The strange part is actually that it took this long for one of the biggest dramas on television and the biggest drama on cable to get a new season order. No matter, this makes me happy. What doesn't make me happy is the news that was announced with the statement. Glen Mazzara will be leaving the series as showrunner after season three. Mazzara signed onto the show during season 2 after Frank Darabont also left.
Both AMC and Mazzara have said that it was a mutual decision. In a joint statement they said, "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, my friends is the troubling part.
Being a showrunner on a successful drama is a pretty coveted job and one of the highest achievements for anyone in television. The fact that they have such differing opinions that it is better for Mazzara to leave rather than work them out makes me, well, nervous. Season three of the show has finally gotten back on track and many have attributed that fact to Mazzara. He wanted an increased amount of action and sense of urgency in the show and he did that and did it well. If AMC has creative differences, I fear that they want the show to go back to something that would be more like season two which had to have been much cheaper with a stable location and less zombie action. This would be a disaster. It also feels like the show could really begin to lose its way with all of this change in leadership.
It is possible AMC will bring in someone just as great and I will reserve all my judgement until we know who it is, but color me skeptical,. All I can say is choose wisely AMC…choose very very wisely.