AMC Orders ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 4; Glen Mazzara Out As Showrunner

Showrunner Glen Mazzara steps down amid “a difference of opinion” with AMC, leaving the top rated basic cable drama without a clear successor.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

With the first half of “The Walking Dead” Season 3 attracting over 10 million viewers per episode, it should surprise no one that AMC has officially renewed the series for a fourth season.

However, the stunning news of the day is that “The Walking Dead” showrunner Glen Mazzara will be stepping down from the series, marking the second high profile departure from the hit series following the controversial dismissal of Frank Darabont. Both Mazzara and AMC cite creative differences as the reason for the latest exit.

Deadline cites rumors that Mazzara was unhappy on the show and their report hints at conflicts between Mazzara and AMC. Mazzara is simply the latest showrunner to have problems with the network. Both of the creators and the showrunner of “Hell on Wheels” recently stepped down and “Mad Men” creator Matthew Weiner has openly feuded with AMC during the contentious renewal negotiations.

The larger question to address is simple: why is AMC messing with success? The network can point to the dramatic upswing of “Walking Dead” viewers this season as vindication of its decision to replace Darabont. But at this time, there is no clear successor already in place on the show.

AMC’s split with Mazzara seems to be on better terms than the PR disaster that unfolded when Darabont was abruptly removed weeks after promoting the show at Comic Con International. In a joint statement, AMC and Mazzara 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 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.”

“The Walking Dead” Season 3 will resume on Sunday, February 10. The fourth season is likely to debut in October 2013.

What are your thoughts on Mazzara’s departure from “The Walking Dead”? Let us know in the comment section below?