If there is any one thing as frustrating as seeing Glen Mazzara leaving “The Walking Dead” after a pretty brilliant season 3, it’s hearing these sort of answers from the network as to why the executive producer (who took over following Frank Darabont’s exit during season 2) is going out the door.
The Hollywood Reporter chatted recently with AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan, and he did his best to explain away what happened with Mazzara by instead trying to put the focus on the hard work and quality that everyone puts in to making it successful:
“We love the show, and we admire and cherish the work of everybody involved who made it an extraordinarily well-crafted TV series. … In the case of Glen, we decided mutually to part ways.”
Sapan also admitted that it would be “preferable” for there to be continuity when it comes to the people who make their shows, but the evidence at the moment suggests still that this is where the network has struggled ever since getting in to original programming. We recently saw “Hell on Wheels” change showrunners after two seasons, and two other extremely popular shows (in “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men”) both have experienced lengthy delays thanks to prolonged negotiations regarding the show’s creators, the studios responsible for helping to make the show’s and the networks. Vince Gilligan and Matthew Weiner were not the only people involved in these negotiations, but they were a key cog.
Here’s one of the craziest stats of all: of the popular scripted shows on AMC, “The Killing” (which was recently revived) is the only one without some sort of public conflict between the creators and the network; meanwhile, you have rarely heard of anything of this sort when it comes to FX, HBO, or some other cable networks.
At the end of the day, this is probably going to be a point of contention for some time. The truth here is that AMC crafts some of the best shows on TV, and we hope this tradition continues. We just wish that the focus could be more on the show’s stories than on the narrative being wove between parties behind the scenes.
If you want to actually read more on the future of “The Walking Dead” season 3, you can do so over here.