‘The Walking Dead’ Fires Writing Staff; Will Not Replace Them For Season 2

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 9th, 2013 at 1:13 am,

As the celebrated first season of AMC’s series The Walking Dead comes to an end this Sunday, so do the jobs of the entire writing staff.

Creditable rumors are beginning to spread throughout television’s milieu that Frank Darabont has fired the entire writing staff of television’s popular zombie-apocalyptic drama, which includes executive producer Charles Eglee.

On top of that, it is believed that Darabont’s intentions are not to replace the writing staff for the already announced second season, but to assign scripts to freelance writers instead. While this may sound like a shocking decision to fans of the series, this is not something new in the world of television.

On BBC’s Torchwood and the continuing Torchwood on Starz, they have been and will continue to forgo the typical staff writers and use freelance writers instead. In addition, the writing staff of any series will often see a fair amount of writer turnover between seasons. While that rarely leads to an entire staff replacement, Darabont appears to have extremely justifiable reasons to do so.

Out of the six episodes that will make up the first season of The Walking Dead, Darabont ended up writing two himself, while also co-writing/rewriting the remaining four. In comparison, the writing staff was only responsible for two episodes this season – but still with Darabont in the lead chair. The remaining two episodes were written by non-staff writers. One was by The Walking Dead comic creator Robert Kirkman and the other by former The Shield writer Glen Mazzara.

Such a dramatic move lends itself to the notion that Darabont, while already having a hands-on approach with the series, is going to continue to be heavily-involved throughout the second season. And with Darabont writing entire episodes himself and co-writing/re-writing the remaining episodes, it appears that a full-time writing staff has become an unnecessary expense for a cable series that already has high production costs.

the walking dead writing staff The Walking Dead Fires Writing Staff; Will Not Replace Them For Season 2

Of course, any major changes to a popular television series will have fans questioning how it will impact any future season. With the source material already written, the resulting plot-outlines have been somewhat laid for whomever will take on writing the episode. Unfortunately for Darabont, but fortunately for the fans, the second season of The Walking Dead will be comprised of 13 episodes, instead of the first season’s 6. So, while Darabont has played a major part in each episode so far, it will make production on the season season much harder overall.

Although, with almost an entire year before The Walking Dead season 2 is expected to premiere in October 2011, they most certainly have the time needed to pull it off.

While no final decision has been made yet on whether The Walking Dead will continue without a writing staff, go completely freelance or a mixture of the two, AMC and Darabont are keeping their options open.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays @10pm, on AMC

Follow me on Twitter @anthonyocasio
Follow Screen Rant on Twitter @screenrant

Source: Deadline

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  1. If Frank Darabont is responsible for contributions to any if not all of the writing that has occurred with this fantastic series, then I will support any moves he makes to sustain the quality of what we have received thus far.

    More power to ‘ya Frank!

    • A year before the second season? Are you kidding me? That is ridicules. By the time it comes back it will be forgotten. People will be invested in other things. I feel like I’ve just wasted 6 weeks. Why do they do that. Carole

  2. Or is it that he’s one of those guys that rather just do it all himself cause no one else (except kirkman) can make the show what it needs to be? Or is it that he’s just difficult?

  3. Well gang we got picked up for another season!

    Cheers yeahooo!!!!

    Ratings are great!!! Best in years.

    Weehaawww yahoo!!!
    Writers can you hold up, I need to talk to you,,,,

    Door closes,,,

    Aha. Haha. Good times!!! Yeah!!!

    Ah guys,,,

    Yeah wehoo!!,,,


    Great job, your fired.

    Haha,,, good one!!


    Thanks again guys.

  4. I can’t tell if this is all good news or bad news! If Darabont has been responsible for the quality thus far, then perhaps this is splendid news indeed! Hopefully the freelances will do just as well with the source material provided, and hopefully Darabont’s job doesn’t get too difficult with the full-length seasons.

    Cheers to The Walking Dead!

    • Thanks for finding that, Zombiehunter.


      • Thank YOU GUYS for bringing me the latest and greatest!

  5. EGO… will be the downfall of this series. Long live Dexter.

  6. good. the story for the show sucks. virtually nothing happens.

  7. Strange.

    Using Torchwoos as an exaample doesnt quite hold up though, mainly because its writers werent fired, and I’m still very wary of a US funded Torchwood. There goes the risque dialouge and daring storylines. I dread to think how much of it they cut to show on US tv…

    • If it is going to be on Starz then it should be alright. They sure didn’t hold back anything when doing Spartacus Blood and Sand.

      • I’ll have to take your word for that as I havent seen Spartacus, but I do worry they will tone it down a bit.

        • Spartacus was Brutal. Full frontal and lots of dirty sex but the brutality in and out of the arena was sometimes just disgusting. This one lady gets her wig split and it almost grossed me out. It looked like someone squeezing a orange to bursting. I loved it.

          • I might try and check it out then.

    • The US version of Torchwood gives me bad vibes of the US Doctor Who TV-movie; Eric Roberts was a woeful miscast as The Master, as he gleefully chomped on the scenery like he was in a hotdog-eating contest.

      I expect Torchwood-US to fare no better…re: Walking Dead, I can only hope this doesn’t prove to be the bullet in Barney Fife’s gun.

  8. this doesn’t mean that the writers from season one wont write any of season 2 episodes it just means they wont get paid for writing them all… i think this move will install much more talent into the writing of the show. The writers if they want to get paid should get on their horse and start hammering out some amazing episodes to flesh out the 2nd and 3rd trade paperbacks if that is going to be their source material for season 2.

  9. I just hope the quality of the show isn’t affected. The show is so cool!

    • yh show is pretty good

  10. This is exactly what happened when Lost Season 1 had wrapped. and look how bad the show got after that….. These guys dont learn. IF IT AINT BROKE DONT FIX IT! SIMPLE AS THAT!

  11. I thin it’s a good thing. As long as the realness of the show isn’t affected then I am all for it. I love this show and was able to convert zombie non believers thanks to this. Keep up the awesome work. Can’t wait till October 2011

  12. can i join the walking dead crew

    • Well.. dono what they ended up doing, but the writers that have written season 2 certainly suck big time, they have managed to turn the show in to a totally boring and annoying soap opera..

  13. This season is such a let down, bring back the old writers! FAST!

  14. I agree the writers of the second season have nowhere near the amount of talent as the writers of the first. Maybe it’s because there are actually zombies in the first season. I agree with the 2 comments above.

  15. Second season is BORING! This whole farm story arc SUCKS! You people better get out those wallets and beg those writers from the first season to come back, because this show is tanking BIG TIME.

  16. Writing in the 2nd season took an obvious turn for the worse. I could tell that something had happened just from watching the first episode. Several major plot points just didn’t make sense, there was an over-abundance of non sequitur drama, and they ended the first episode on a major cliff hanger which seemed like almost an admission that they new the writing wasn’t enough to bring people back.

    I had no idea they fired the writing staff. But after watching the first episode of season 2 it was apparent something bad had happened.

    The walking dead season 2 has made the same turn for the worse as the 2nd season of Breaking Bad. What a shame.

    • I forgot to mention the run-on dialogue. There was a ton of it, that seemed more like it was written by high school students than professional writers.

  17. Although I watch the show, I believe the writing is horrible. ie. Why are they riding around in a 40+ year old motor home when there are millions of new ones to be had everywhere? Same with the old Jeep. Why are guns such a hot commodity when there are millions of soldiers in every city with weapons to be taken? Why don’t they go to the gun shop and get 10,000 rounds of ammo? Why did they go 3 days without food when there are stores every few miles throughout the US? When going through the traffic jam Dale states “we don’t have enough fuel to go around”, sure dummy, every car you’re bumping into is loaded with fuel. They find a Vet/Doctor that has no medicine on hand, I have more antibiotics in my house that him. Why do they keep trying to take away the guns from the people in their group, make everyone carry at least two. The writing is just plain ridiculous….