Shocker: Walking Dead Renewed For Season 4, Showrunner Glen Mazzara Steps Down Over 'Difference of Opinion'

WalkingDeadbAMC has renewed The Walking Dead for a fourth season, but there’s a catch — and it’s a big one: Glen Mazzara is is stepping down as showrunner.

RELATED | Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman Defends Addresses Andrea’s Critics 

Per the network, the two parties have mutually decided to part ways. “Glen guided the series creatively for Seasons 2 and 3,” AMC said in a statement. “[We’re] grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success. Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways. This decision is amicable and Glen will remain on for post-production on Season 3B as showrunner and executive producer.”

Mazzara called his time on Walking Dead “an amazing experience,” adding, “but after I finish Season 3, it’s time to move on. I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn’t get much better than that. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey.”

RELATED | Who Banned Sarah Wayne Callies From the Walking Dead Set?

Series creator Robert Kirkman, meanwhile, issued his own statement, saying, “I am in full support of both AMC and Glen Mazzara in the decision they have come to and believe the parties came to this decision in the best interest of the future of the show. I thank Glen for his hard work and appreciate his many contributions to The Walking Dead and look forward to working with him as we complete post production on Season 3. I am also excited to begin work on another spectacular season of this show that I know means so much to so many people. This show has always been the result of a wide range of extremely talented men and women working tirelessly to produce their best work collectively. I believe the future is bright for The Walking Dead. Thank you to the fans for your continued support.”

This is the second major behind-the-scenes shake-up to rock Walking Dead during its relatively short, phenomenally successful life. Early into the show’s second season, Frank Darabont was fired as showrunner. His exit was also the result of creative differences.

Walking Dead is set to return with the second half of Season 3 on Sunday, February 10.

A replacement for Mazzara has not yet been named.