The frequent showrunner changes on “The Walking Dead” have now officially turned ugly. We’ve made a few jokes over the years at the expense of the AMC series, with the major reason for it being that the network seems to have gotten itself into a rather steep predicament by forcing the executive producer of the show to be in a lose-lose situation: Having to satisfy their executives along with Robert Kirkman, the creator of the comic book series who is also billed as an executive producer.
The latest case involving the original showrunner Frank Darabont and the network is very complicated, so we’ll try to summarize it for you here in as simple of terms as possible. Darabont and CAA are suing AMC for tens of millions of dollars they believe they are owed for Frank’s participation in the show. According to The Hollywood Reporter, court documents show that profit participation may be a big reason why the showrunner and the network started to see their relationship go south in the first place; in making a licensing deal effectively with themselves, Darabont claims that he was deprived of a substantial amount of profit.
Ultimately, Darabont claims that the network, by getting rid of an independent production company and doing it in-house, created a system where there would never be profits available to pay him. His lawyer Dale Kinsella has went on to say the following to the website:
“AMC’s conduct toward Frank to date has been nothing short of atrocious … Unfortunately, the fans of The Walking Dead have suffered as well by being deprived of his creative talent.”
This will be an interesting suit to follow in the months ahead, mostly because the results could say something about the way in which AMC and Darabont did business during the early days of the show. The only part of this that gives us pause is the timing; out of all the times in which the news about this would his the press, why is it while Darabont’s limited series “Mob City” is airing on TNT?
Darabont is also asking for shares of profits in both the “Talking Dead” spin-off talk show as well as the new series that Kirkman is developing with the network that features a story independent of his comics.