Firing of 'Walking Dead' Creator Is Latest Crazy Move by AMC

Perhaps appropriately enough for a show that's about the last shreds of mankind fighting off zombies, AMC's The Walking Dead has been quite the bloodbath since its debut. First there was a bunch of craziness last December about how the entire writing staff had been let go, then it turned out that it was the executive producer who had left the series, and now AMC has made the seemingly inexplicable decision to fire the show's creator, Frank Darabont.

The really bizarre thing is that Darabont was just at Comic-Con on July 22 to promote the upcoming season—having no idea that he himself was a dead man walking. One well-placed headshot later, Darabont's out, and ... well, what's next for the show?

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The outlook isn't completely dire: The Walking Dead is currently in the middle of production on its second season, and Glen Mazzara (a writer on the first season) was promoted to showrunner in July. The original comic creator, Robert Kirkman, is still on board, as is their much-lauded effects guru Greg Nicotero.

Still, what the hell is going ON over there at AMC? In the last several months, there have been all kinds of money-related battles going on behind the scenes as the network works overtime to squeeze every last dime out of its other two hit shows, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. They've been slashing budgets, fighting over contracts, forcing grueling hours, and generally seeming on the verge of losing the very cash cows they're trying so hard to milk.


After demanding more ad time and a smaller budget from Mad Men, and pushing so hard to reduce the final season of Breaking Bad to just 6 to 8 episodes, the show's creators actually approached FX about a possible network move. Now AMC has fired the creator of a show that brought in a jaw-dropping 6 million viewers for its season finale?


I mean, look, I had some criticisms about The Walking Dead last season. It wasn't perfect by any means. But holy shit, firing the creator halfway through production on the second season? Reportedly because he was resisting AMC's requests to increase the number of episodes while simultaneously shrinking his budget?


It sounds like a giant mess to me, and if I were a writer on one of these shows, I'd be polishing the hell out of my resume. Which is really sad, considering how creative television programming is slowly disappearing under the obnoxious, cheap-to-make behemoth that is reality TV. How long before AMC fully succumbs to the tempting profit margins of My Pregnant Jersey Toddler in a Tiara or whatever, and ends up putting a bullet in all of their original shows?


DON'T DO IT, AMC. STOP THE MADNESS. JUST PAY THE GODDAMNED MONEY AND MAKE SOME DECENT STUFF, AND WE WILL ALL WATCH. SOME OF US DON'T CARE ABOUT REAL HOUSEWIVES. ARRRRGH.


(This inarticulate screaming and wild hand gesturing brought to you by the Department of Oh My God Stop Messing With Mah Shows.)


What do you think about Darabont's firing? Do you think AMC is sending a message that they don't care who you are, if you don't play ball, you're out?



Image via AMC

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