It’s never easy when the mastermind behind a hit TV show leaves the production. It happened with Larry David and Seinfeld, Aaron Sorkin and The West Wing, and — most recently — Frank Darabont and The Walking Dead.
Frank was originally known as a screenwriter and director for the silver screen, with credits including The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. (Apparently the guy likes three-word titles starting with “the”!)
He stretched his creative muscles by transitioning to television, developing, producing, writing, and directing the pilot of The Walking Dead in 2010 and many episodes after that.
Then, in July 2011, to the shock of fans and industry insiders alike, Frank Darabont stepped down from the role of showrunner. Many thought that he was fired because he couldn’t adjust to the pace of television, but The Hollywood Reporter reports that Frank and AMC executives couldn’t agree on the show’s budget. The network brass suggested cost-cutting measures — like shooting more scenes indoors and showing fewer zombies on-screen — which Frank reportedly thought would compromise the integrity of the series.
Frank’s right-hand man on the show, Glen Mazzara, assumed showrunning duties until December 2012, when he too stepped down, citing creative differences. Now executive producer Scott Gimple is taking the reins as the show heads toward it’s fourth season.