The Walking Dead Names New Showrunner - But Will Frank Darabont Still Be Involved?

Well, that transition of power didn’t take long at all: AMC officially announced on Thursday that The Walking Dead writer-executive producer Glen Mazzara would be taking over as showrunner for Season 2, in the wake of Frank Darabont’s abrupt departure.

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“AMC is grateful to executive producer, writer and pilot director Frank Darabont, whose contributions to the success of The Walking Dead are innumerable,” the cabler said in a statement. “We continue to discuss his ongoing role with the series.”

But will Darabont remain involved? Or has a bridge been burned? Sources tell TVLine that the veteran filmmaker was “blindsided” by his ouster from the series, that it was in fact not his decision to step down from the day-to-day duties.

Mazzara (pictured above right) was the expected successor to Darabont, having served as his No. 2 during the abbreviated Season 1.

AMC’s statement went on to reassert the status of other major creative players, saying that Robert Kirkman (creator of the Walking Dead graphic novels) is still an executive producer and writer on the series, and Gale Anne Hurd will remain an executive producer.

“The production continues on schedule for an October 16th premiere,” says the network.