AMC’s gruesome zombie hit, THE WALKING DEAD, has its new showrunner for season four. Now on its third boss in four years, it appears the job of TWD honcho has a shorter life expectancy than Mensa member in closet full of zombies.
Scott M. Gimple will take the reins from outgoing showrunner Glen Mazzara when production on the fourth season begins May 6. “I’m a huge fan of the comics, and started with the show on the other side of the set, as an avid viewer,” Gimple enthused. “Over the past two years, it’s been an incredible privilege making such great television with the best cast and crew I’ve ever worked with — I can’t wait to make some more.”
Series creator Robert Kirkman said, “Scott has been an essential part of this show since he came aboard at the very beginning of season two.”
In addition to Gimple’s promotion, producer Tom Luse and co-executive producer/special effects makeup supervisor and director Greg Nicotero have been elevated to executive producers.
AMC has ordered a fourth season of the zombie thriller THE WALKING DEAD, but Glen Mazzara, the executive producer who took over the series early in the second season and guided it to unprecedented ratings this season, will not be back next year.
This despite the fact that TWD won the adults 18-49 demo over every other show (cable and broadcast) on TV this fall. In fact, TWD is the first cable show to outright beat the broadcast programs in its time slot.
You can blame that old standby, creative differences. (TWD seems especially vulnerable to that condition, since original show-runner Frank Darabont barely lasted into the second season.) The network cited “differences of opinion” on where the show should go next.
Mazzara will be sticking around to finish postproduction on season three before moving on. The second half of the third season kicks off on Feb. 10. About 15.2 million people watched the Dec. 2 midseason finale of TWD — a number most broadcast execs would eat human flesh to attain.
Everyone pretty much agrees that what was wrong with the last season of THE WALKING DEAD was that it featured too many humans sitting around a dull farm chatting and whining about a missing little girl, and too few walkers walking — and even fewer of those zombies getting dispatched in creatively gruesome, ichor-soaked ways.
Well, it is clear that executive producer/show-runner Glen Mazzara has taken those criticisms to heart, because the premiere of the third season featured more zombies than all of last year’s shows combined, and our heroes got to kill them by the boatload in scenes of tense, close-up hand-to-hand combat.