“The Walking Dead” is cable channel AMC’s biggest hit ever.
(Sorry East Coast elites: it’s way bigger than Mad Men.)
So why in the world did AMC just replace the show’s top producer, Frank Darabont, after firing almost all of the writing staff in December?
We have answers.
But first: everyone take a deep breath.
This staffing change seems a little more dramatic than it actually is.
First of all, the new producer, Glen Mazzara, was already a writer and executive producer on “Dead.”
What’s more, Mazzara is a tried-and-true TV guy: he got his start as a staff writer on “Nash Bridges” and went on to work on “The Shield,” “Criminal Minds” and “Hawthorne,” among others.
Darabont, meanwhile, has had greater success in the world of film. (He wrote and directed “Shawshank Redemption” and “The Green Mile” — and has produced dozens of movies.)
Then there’s the fact that the change comes so early in the history of “Dead.”
Other times, it’s a last gasp before cancellation (RIP, “United States of Tara”).
But when a showrunner switch comes this early in the ballgame, it’s often just because a show is still finding its tone.
Think about your favourite still-airing show — then go back and watch the very first episode of it.
Nine times out of 10, it bears little resemblance to the program that fills up your DVR now.
But the DNA is always there. So “Dead” has Darabont to thank for that — and Mazzara to task with making sure you keep recording the show indefinitely.
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