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Walking Dead: Why Did AMC Fire Showrunner Frank Darabont? THR Blames AMC’s Joel Stillerman

Walking Dead: Why Did AMC Fire Showrunner Frank Darabont? THR Blames AMC's Joel Stillerman

Thompson on Hollywood

Many media folk have been trying to get to the bottom of why AMC fired showrunner Frank Darabont off its most successful show, The Walking Dead. THR’s Kim Masters comes up with some answers, although AMC is keeping Darabont and others mum. Not surprisingly, two of the usual factors, greed and ego, are involved. What’s astonishing is how much AMC’s head of original programming, Joel Stillerman, the villain of Masters’ piece, seems willing to risk the quality of his biggest hit in order to reap profits.

Doesn’t Stillerman realize that the scope and scale of the outdoor survival zombie drama is essential to its success? The Walking Dead played like a movie, and turning into just another routine cable series will cost AMC in the long run. Writer-director Darabont fought every day for that quality, and with him gone, even other strong contributors to the show will be running scared.

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Darabont does great work. I’m sure he had a good staff, but ultimately the quality of the show was amazing and responsibility lies on him what he puts out. The 1st season of WALKING DEAD did play like a movie. It was like nothing that had ever been seen or done on cable. Beautiful cinematic visuals and emotional movie beats that you never see on cable tv. That’s why it garnered so much buzz and so many people tuned in, not to mention had it on their Netflix, Blockbuster wait lists for months just to view it. Hopefully they will uphold the quality and not let egos destroy a good show.

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