'Fear the Walking Dead' Showrunner to Exit After Season 3

Fear the Walking Dead - H 2016
Courtesy of Richard Foreman Jr./AMC

There's a change at the top of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead.

Showrunner Dave Erickson, who developed the drama alongside Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, will exit the zombie drama following its third season. Instead, AMC announced Friday that he will turn to development for the cable network as part a multiple-year deal. While he will no longer have day-to-day oversight of the prequel series, he will remain credited as an executive producer.

Under the overall deal, Erickson will develop new projects for AMC Studios and other networks in the AMC Networks portfolio, including Sundance TV. A replacement for Erickson on Fear has not been determined as the series awaits word on a fourth season.

"We're beyond grateful for Dave's amazing work on the first three seasons of Fear the Walking Dead," said AMC and Sundance TV president of original programming Joel Stillerman. "With Dave as showrunner, the series fulfilled its creative promise to expand the Walking Dead universe in a way that was totally unique from the original series and has gone on to become the No. 2 drama series in ad-supported cable, behind only The Walking Dead. We are also incredibly excited that Dave has chosen to stay in the AMC family to pursue his next passion project. We look forward to many more successful collaborations."

Erickson is an industry veteran whose credits include FX's Sons of Anarchy, as well as AMC's Low Winter Sun and Netflix's Marco Polo. The well-spoken showrunner penned the script for Fear the Walking Dead alongside Kirkman and was deeply involved in the look and casting of the show. Despite strong ratings, the family drama set against the zombie outbreak was never a critical breakout and quickly fell out of the zeitgeist following its debut. Season three is currently in production as the drama awaits a premiere date for its 16-episode order.

"I have truly enjoyed working with the writers and directors, cast and crew on Fear and am so proud of what we have accomplished over our first two seasons," said Erickson. "I look forward to completing work on season three, sharing it with the fans and developing new projects with my partners at AMC."

The Walking Dead franchise is no stranger to showrunner changes. The flagship series was developed by Frank Darabont, who exited ahead of season two. Glen Mazzara took over and was subsequently replaced by current showrunner Scott M. Gimple, with the latter having had the longest run at the helm of TV's No. 1 drama among adults 18-49.