Staff writers are apparently the latest victims of the zombie apocalypse.
In a surprise move, "The Walking Dead’ showrunner and executive producer Frank Darabont has released all of the staff writers from "The Walking Dead," according to Deadline. This comes off the heels of "Walking Dead’s" consistently high ratings which earned it an early pick up for the second season. Last Sunday, the fifth episode reached a series high audience of 5.5 million viewers.
Among the notable cuts was Charles Eglee, who was also one of the executive producers on "The Walking Dead." The story on Deadline also notes that this kind of creative overhaul is unusual, especially this early in the life of a series.
Additionally, Darabont is reportedly considering using only freelance writers for the second season, which is similar to the model used on BBC shows like "Torchwood" and "Doctor Who." However most British TV seasons are just six episodes in length, which makes them relatively easy to manage. The second season of "The Walking Dead" will be 13 episodes and may be considerably more difficult to produce without a writing staff. There is also some question as to whether this will be allowed under the rules on the Writer’s Guild of America.
In the first season, Darabont wrote two episodes while "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman wrote one as well. Eglee & Jack LoGiudice, Glen Mazzara and Adam Fierro wrote the remaining three scripts.
"The Walking Dead" stars Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies, Chandler Riggs, Steven Yuen and Laurie Holden. The final episode of the first season will air this Sunday at 10PM on AMC.