"The Walking Dead" fans know that no character is sacred in this post-apocalyptic landscape, but perhaps they didn't know that the danger would reach those behind the scenes as well.
Deadline is reporting that "Walking Dead" co-creator and executive producer Frank Darabont has dropped out as showrunner of the massively successful AMC zombie series, news that's bound to shock and surprise any and all of the show's most devoted followers.
It's speculated that Darabont, who hails from the feature filmmaking world, stepped down from his position because he couldn't acclimate to the daily grind of television. At the moment, it's not known if Darabont is completely off the show or not; Deadline reports that "talks are still ongoing about him possibly staying on in some capacity," though exactly what that capacity would be -- occasional director, sometime writer, ongoing producer, something else entirely -- is unclear right now.
Darabont's departure from the showrunner role is certainly disappointing; his work on the first six-episode season was absolutely fantastic, and though the show's success does not rest entirely on his shoulders, there's no question that he played an essential role in bringing fans a tonally faithful "Walking Dead" adaptation. As such, replacing the man isn't easy. Deadline speculates that executive producer and second-in-charge Glen Mazzara, late of "The Shield," could step in as showrunner, but nothing's confirmed just yet.
At the moment, production appears to be unaffected by Darabont's exit -- the show is still on target for an October 16 premiere -- and you can bet that we'll update you with the latest as we hear it.
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