The press release reads:
"AMC also jointly announces with Glen Mazzara today that for future seasons, the two parties have mutually decided to part ways. Glen guided the series creatively for seasons 2 and 3. AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success.
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."
Glen Mazzara has released the following statement: "My time as showrunner on The Walking Dead has been an amazing experience, but after I finish season 3, it's time to move on. I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn't get much better than that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey."
The Walking Dead's creator, Robert Kirkman, has released his own statement as well: "I am in full support of both AMC and Glen Mazzara in the decision they have come to and believe the parties came to this decision in the best interest of the future of the show. I thank Glen for his hard work and appreciate his many contributions to The Walking Dead and look forward to working with him as we complete post production on Season 3. I am also excited to begin work on another spectacular season of this show that I know means so much to so many people. This show has always been the result of a wide range of extremely talented men and women working tirelessly to produce their best work collectively. I believe the future is bright for The Walking Dead. Thank you to the fans for your continued support."
Lastly, Gale Anne Hurd, who continues on as an executive producer, said in her statement, ""I am appreciative and grateful to Glen for his hard work on The Walking Dead. I am supportive of AMC and Glen's decision and know that the series is in great hands with one of the most talented and dedicated casts and crews in the business. I look forward to the show's continued success.""
For such a big hit -- this fall it achieved the astounding feat of becoming the biggest scripted series on television among among adults 18-49 -- The Walking Dead has been through a lot of creative turbulence in its three seasons on the air. Darabont was replaced by AMC in the first half of Season 2, with Mazzara (who was already writing for the series) taking his place as showrunner. It's not clear yet who will replace Mazzara for the fourth season and if it will be someone already working on the series or someone brand new to The Walking Dead.
I wasn't pleased with Darabont departing the series because of the changes it brought. Certain actors were only there because of him and thus were killed off so they could depart alongside him. Darabont had a vision and a direction but AMC stupidly pushed back. I was nervous going into season three but so far things have been pretty good.
That might be changing though with Mazzara departing as well who was second in command under Darabont. The big thing that jumps out at me is how they (Mazzara and AMC) weren't seeing eye to eye on the show which is rather similar to what went down with Darabont. AMC wanted smaller sets, more indoor scenes, and a smaller budget but Darabont said no telling them that his way was the way to make it work on TV. And he was right.
Mazzara has followed suit as well with season three featuring the prison, plenty of outdoor scenes, Woodbury, and more. Whatever scaling back AMC wanted it apparently didn't happen on the level they were hoping for because now Mazzara has departed mid season (again like Darabont).
Could AMC be shuffling around show runners now to find the person who will bend to their will? I'm starting to think so and I hope the show overall doesn't suffer because of the stupidity AMC keeps showcasing. They've got a hit on their hands and from the sounds of it they are trying to maximize profit while spending as little as possible letting the name of the show do the heavy lifting.
A standard has already been set and if the show starts to dip below that standard I can promise you viewers will stop watching. AMC is already messing up badly with shows like Breaking Bad which is taking nearly a year break during it's mid season and other show heads have talked about the push back they've got from AMC about how their shows were being done.
I'm starting to think that Walking Dead might have an easier time on a network like HBO or Showtime.