The Walking Dead the Glen Mazzara has envisioned apparently doesn’t match what AMC wants to see. It was announced that, no surprise here, Walking Dead will return for a fourth season, which is great news, but Glen Mazzara will not be along for the ride. In a statement released by AMC, the situation is given the typical Hollywood-breakup warm-and-fuzzy treatment:
“Glen guided the series creatively for seasons 2 and 3,” AMC said in a statement. “[We're] 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.”
Interpret it as you will, I choose to look at the history of such agreements and suspect that AMC wants to make some changes that Mazzara didn’t want to go along with, and based on the increase of quality since Mazzara took the reigns, I think anyone who is slightly nervous about this whole situation has every right to be. Under Mazzara’s guidance The Walking Dead has practically become the standard for high-tension high-drama television; even though some might have trouble stomaching the gore, it is hard to deny that the character arcs have been thoroughly engrossing and the more propulsive action oriented arcs have been riveting and satisfying.
Since Mazzara has been show runner for two thirds of the existence of their most popular show, it’s not much of a reach to wonder what AMC could be thinking in trying to override his decisions. Worse yet, with everything that has worked over the last two seasons, it’s reasonable to be worried about what it is that AMC wants to do to the show that Mazzara would be so vehemently opposed to as to throw his hands up and walk away.
As for the amicable thing, I’m not buying it.