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Details surrounding Frank Darabont's firing from The Walking Dead revealed

01.06.2016

Season One of THE WALKING DEAD is one of the more compelling watches I can remember hitting my television in recent memory. With Frank Darabont very much driving the ship, the show operated with a great deal of urgency in developing its characters and moving its story forward - making the series cool before it ever got really cool.

However, following Season One, there was a big shakeup in the hierarchy of the show, with Darabont sent packing, Glen Mazzara stepping into the showrunner duties and a lot of curiosity as to what happened considering how solid of a start THE WALKING DEAD had gotten off to under Darabont's watch.

There has always been talk that money was a major factor in that parting of the ways, but now we're learning a lot more about what led to Darabont getting the axe from AMC as Frank's previously sealed deposition in his lawsuit against AMC over profits has been opened.

There is a lot in Darabont's testimony and, if you want to read all 40 pages of it, then HERE you go, but at least allow me to point out some of the more interesting notes to be aware of...

On the show's budget being cut despite the show's viewing success

I remember Joel Stillerman [president of original programming and development for AMC], in a meeting in my office, when we were all discussing the issues of the upcoming season, we said to him, 'Surely that the success of the show, which, by the way, you guys are bragging about because we keep getting e-mails saying, 'Hey, we're breaking viewership records in 120 countries around the world by hundreds of percent, in some countries by over 1,000%,' at the same time we're hearing how successful the show is for you, you're telling us that this, this budget issue is not going to budge at all. And he said, 'The success of the show has no bearing on this discussion,' in a rather icy manner.

On the reasons AMC "concocted" for his dismissal

They accused me of not having directors tone meetings," he said, referring to the way in which a showrunner is supposed to sit down with each director of each episode to go over the script — scene by scene — and convey the tone of the show. "And I said, 'That's absolutely not true, I have had a directors tone meeting with every single director this season.'

Even Mazzara gave testimony as to Darabont being treated unfairly heading into Season Two.

I believe that Frank was executing his responsibilities and duties as showrunner and there was a personal rift between [Walking Dead co-creator Robert] Kirkman and Darabont and between Darabont and the AMC executives, and that when the material for the finale came in and Frank said I need some time to figure out a plan of how to pursue this and what we're going to re-shoot and what it will take to do this, AMC was unwilling to give him that time to solve the issue and they let him go without notifying him that he was, that the issues were that series. That if he did not appropriately solve these issues, he was about to be fired.

Who knows what THE WALKING DEAD would have become had Darabont stayed on-board, but perhaps it was for the best. It seems like the cable network didn't quite realize they needed to spend money to make money until later in the show's run, and Darabont never would have lasted that long anyway.

THE WALKING DEAD returns from hiatus on February 14 with their mid-season premiere.

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