The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman says a recent report about changes in the show's writing staff is "unfortunate" and "premature."
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Earlier this week, Deadline.com reported that executive producer Frank Darabont had let his writing staff go, including his No. 2 guy, executive producer Charles "Chic" Eglee. The report also suggested that Darabont might not hire a new team of writers to pen Season 2's 13 episodes, but would instead assign scripts to freelancers.
"It's kind of unfortunate that it's being reported that our writing staff has been fired because that's not the case," Kirkman, who created the comic book series on which the AMC zombie drama is based, tells TVGuide.com. "It makes Frank look bad. I don't think Frank wants it out there that he's just firing people off of a successful show seemingly for no reason."
Kirkman says Eglee, whose previous credits include Dexter, Dark Angel and The Shield, chose to leave the show after Darabont decided to stay on as the showrunner for the The Walking Dead's second season.
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"Chic Eglee is a high-level television writer. He was brought onto The Walking Dead with the idea that Frank was going to work on the first season and then go off and do movies," Kirkman says. "Chic didn't want to be second-in-command on a show when he's used to being a top dog, and so he decided to go off and do something else, which is something that happens and is not a big deal."
Kirkman says he's excited to continue working with Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) and credits him with creating a unique vision for the show. But it's too soon to tell what other writers the duo will work with in Season 2, Kirkman says.
"It's a little premature to be nailing down. I don't know if it's going to be a freelance situation or if we're going to have writers in a writers' room," he says. "That's something that's being worked on now.
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AMC would only confirm that there will be some changes to the writing staff in Season 2.
"Everybody knows what they're doing," Kirkman says. "AMC has done a few television shows before, and Frank Darabont is a professional. Whatever is decided, I don't think it will affect the show one way or another."
AMC renewed The Walking Dead for a second season after only two episodes, and the show has quickly become the network's biggest hit. The show's penultimate episode drew a series-high 5.5 million viewers, more than double the average viewership of AMC's multiple Emmy winner Mad Men.
The Walking Dead's Season 1 finale airs Sunday at 10/9c.