‘The Walking Dead’ Drags In Yet Another Show Runner

So, as we all know, Glen Mazzara was fired from The Walking Dead because of behind-the-scenes troubles and ego. So, who’s taking over?

The guy who wrote Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. Really.

According to Ain’t It Cool News, the next guy to take over will be Walking Dead staff writer Scott Gimple. Gimple is mostly a TV guy, despite his one bad movie. And he’s written some good episodes of the show, such as 18 Miles Out, so promoting him to showrunner is not unreasonable.

On the other hand, it does raise the question of what the hell is going on. If this were literally any other show, any other show at all, it would be canceled by now. This kind of instability, with three showrunners in four seasons, is incredibly rare and often not a good sign that things are going well behind the scenes. Frank Darabont’s firing was spectacularly ugly and Mazzara’s was not much better. Similarly, trading down from an Oscar-winning director and respected genre screenwriter, to a respected basic cable scribe, to some dude who wrote a sequel to a Nicolas Cage movie directed by the Crank guys, does not inspire confidence.

Honestly, we’re a bit surprised that Kirkman didn’t take over. By all accounts, he’s heavily involved in the show and may even be part of the problem. It’s not a shock he’s protective: Kirkman owns the series, writes for it, and collects a good chunk of change off the massive graphic novel sales as well. Gimple may simply be a sock puppet.

The behind-the-scenes drama isn’t reflected in the show’s ratings, so it’s a moot point for now. But still, one hopes that perhaps things can settle down a bit in the fourth season.