Kurt Sutter has taken some time away from a pre-“Sons of Anarchy” season 6 break to speak his mind about his friend / former co-worker on “The Shield” Glen Mazzara’s departure from “The Walking Dead,” and judging from the full extent of his rant (which was posted to his Twitter) the man is not even remotely pleased about it.
While everyone may be quick to make a big deal out of what Sutter says below (complete with the use of one of his favorite swear words), we ask you this: how many of you were thinking something relatively similar when you first heard about the announcement? It is a little suspicious that AMC has dismissed one showrunner from their highest-rated show already in Frank Darabont, and both “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Man” have each seen huge gaps between seasons thanks to complicated hard-line negotiations.
Meanwhile, Sutter’s own network in FX has been so flexible that they have allowed him extra time for his episodes if need be, and none of the shows on board here, whether it be his “Sons of Anarchy,” “American Horror Story,” or even the long-running “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” have had this sort of drama behind the scenes; and if there are any problems, they remain private. This is why John Landgraf has been so frequently praised as a programming head here.
Check out Sutter’s statement in its entirety below:
“AMC is run by small-minded, bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of its creative personnel. Time and time again we see events like what happened today with Glen Mazzara. They continue to disrespect writers, s–t on their audience and bury their network. Mazzara took the work-in-progress that was ‘Walking Dead’ and turned it into a viable TV show with a future. Without him, that future is dim. Showrunners are not development executives, we’re not cookiecutter doucheb–s that you plug into a preexisting model. TWD will suffer. Even Zombies need consistency. ‘Mad Men’ and ‘Breaking Bad’ will be gone soon. So will AMC. I hope their f–king stock takes a dive and the shareholders line up [the network executives] and s–t in their open hands. C–ts.”
Perhaps the biggest mystery we have with AMC at the moment is simply this: you have some of the best programming on all of television (at least when it comes to the scripted fare), so why in the world do you also have so much drama for it to be worthy of a show in its own right? One of the strangest parts about the announcement of Mazzara’s exit today is that the network almost seemingly tried to hide Mazzara’s exit by also announcing the same day that “The Walking Dead” would be returning four a season 4.
Sutter will be back to work on “Sons of Anarchy” season 6 in February of this year, with the show returning in the fall … and the consistently and respect shown across the board here at FX is something worth celebrating.
Both “Walking Dead” and “Sons of Anarchy” were nominees for 2012 Show of the Year; you can check out the voting results at this link.
Update: We also now have the following to share from another one of Mazzara’s “Shield” co-workers in Shawn Ryan:
“Breaking my Twitter silence to comment: AMC, WTF? Common knowledge that AMC cut Breaking Bad shorter than it should have been. Now you have creative differences w/ biggest hit’s savior? With FX, Showtime, HBO, Starz, Cinemax, A&E, TNT and others to sell to, it’s a real question now why good show runners should sell to AMC?”