July 27, 2011 1:09pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'The Walking Dead': Glen Mazzara in for Frank Darabont as Showrunner
A day after The Walking Dead’s Frank Darabont stepped down as showrunner, Glen Mazzara, the zombie drama’s No. 2 executive producer, has been tapped to take charge of the series.
Sources confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Mazzara will pick up for creator/executive producer/showrunner Darabont as the AMC series continues work on its second season.
Mazzara joined the series, based on the popular comics created by Robert Kirkman, after the drama’s six-episode freshman season wrapped. Darabont at the time considered the idea of using freelancers to pen the series, later nixing the idea and hiring a full writing staff with Mazzara as his second in command.
Mazzara will executive produce alongside Kirkman and Gale Anne Hurd.
Whether or not Darabont will continue on with the series, which is in production ahead of its Oct. 16 premiere, remains unclear.
The former feature director told fans at recently concluded Comic-Con that the drama’s new writing staff had the advantage of coming in to an established series.
“This year we have a room full of writers who know the show now as fans of it, having seen the first little half season, they came into the room going wow, we get to do The Walking Dead,” Darabont said during the Friday session in San Diego. “The first six episodes, nobody knew what the hell we were doing. … It was an unknown quantity as a TV show.”
Mazzara, repped by CAA, previously served as an exec producer on Hawthorne and penned Episode 5 of the zombie drama starring Andrew Lincoln.