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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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10:56AM on 01/07/2016

Darabont is missed!

Back in season 1 every episode served a purpose. Every episode had something to say and pushed the story forward. Every episode was entertaining. Now you only have to watch the first episode of the season, then the mid-season finale, followed by the mid-season premiere, and finally the season finale - and you wouldn't miss a beat. Every other episode of the season is just painfully long drawn out filler that adds nothing to the show or the characters.
Back in season 1 every episode served a purpose. Every episode had something to say and pushed the story forward. Every episode was entertaining. Now you only have to watch the first episode of the season, then the mid-season finale, followed by the mid-season premiere, and finally the season finale - and you wouldn't miss a beat. Every other episode of the season is just painfully long drawn out filler that adds nothing to the show or the characters.
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8:32AM on 01/07/2016
I still love TWD, even if you might get a couple of duff episodes per season. Each series has had a different tone, and they've taken some interesting risks over the years which have paid off more often than not. The major players have all had great story arcs and character development too. The second half of the current season, it's most likely going to kick off big time and I'm really looking forward to that.
I still love TWD, even if you might get a couple of duff episodes per season. Each series has had a different tone, and they've taken some interesting risks over the years which have paid off more often than not. The major players have all had great story arcs and character development too. The second half of the current season, it's most likely going to kick off big time and I'm really looking forward to that.
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9:18PM on 01/06/2016

They should have kept him

There was some energy to each episode in the first season. The second season wasn't too bad and it just kept getting worse and worse until i just stopped watching it.

It might be better now but I guess I'll never know. I have a feeling that I'm missing nothing. Hopefully we get something new from Darabont soon. I'm starting to get withdrawals.
There was some energy to each episode in the first season. The second season wasn't too bad and it just kept getting worse and worse until i just stopped watching it.

It might be better now but I guess I'll never know. I have a feeling that I'm missing nothing. Hopefully we get something new from Darabont soon. I'm starting to get withdrawals.
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2:20PM on 01/07/2016
I would say based on what you have stated that you're not missing anything.
I enjoy it, but I don't think it's improved.
I would say based on what you have stated that you're not missing anything.
I enjoy it, but I don't think it's improved.
8:50PM on 01/06/2016
Wish he would have stayed on since the show would have probably have been better with him running it. My favorite seasons of the series are still the first two and he's a vital reason why.
Wish he would have stayed on since the show would have probably have been better with him running it. My favorite seasons of the series are still the first two and he's a vital reason why.
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+1
7:45PM on 01/06/2016
TWD really did get off to a flyer but I wasn't very impressed with the season 1 finale. Season two got off to a great opening episode only for it to become a bore fest thereafter though the episode with the two strangers and the finale were up there with season 1's best episodes. It's actually been like that ever since - a couple of very good, standout, episodes in an otherwise so so season. I'll watch anything with zombies in it and given the crap I've seen, I love the fact that we have a
TWD really did get off to a flyer but I wasn't very impressed with the season 1 finale. Season two got off to a great opening episode only for it to become a bore fest thereafter though the episode with the two strangers and the finale were up there with season 1's best episodes. It's actually been like that ever since - a couple of very good, standout, episodes in an otherwise so so season. I'll watch anything with zombies in it and given the crap I've seen, I love the fact that we have a properly funded zombie show on TV.... but there's no denying that it's not a great show overall - and please, please let that mom mom kid and several other characters go down in a chow of glory in the opening minutes of the next episode - that would be a pretty impressive start.
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7:39PM on 01/06/2016
Sounds like another studio power play. Good thing that it didn't do much damage to the show.
Sounds like another studio power play. Good thing that it didn't do much damage to the show.
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7:02PM on 01/06/2016
Well the show does indeed suck, so it looks like him leaving did do damage.
Well the show does indeed suck, so it looks like him leaving did do damage.
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2:21AM on 01/07/2016
lol @ this joker...
lol @ this joker...
5:00PM on 01/06/2016
Love Darabont, but doesnt seem like it did much damage
Love Darabont, but doesnt seem like it did much damage
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