Kurt Sutter, Shawn Ryan Blast AMC for Walking Dead Showrunner Departure
Kurt Sutter, Andrew Lincoln
Hours after news broke that The Walking Dead would be returning for a fourth season without showrunner Glen Mazzara, fellow showrunners Kurt Sutter and Shawn Ryan blasted AMC for the shocking move.
"AMC is run by small-minded, bottom-line thinkers who have no appreciation or gratitude for the effort of its creative personnel. Time and time again we see events like what happened today with Glen Mazzara," Sutter, who created and executive-produces Sons of Anarchy for rival cable network FX, wrote on his blog. "They continue to disrespect writers, s--- on their audience and bury their network."
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The famously outspoken Sutter went on to praise Mazzara for taking a "work-in-progress" series and transforming it into a "viable TV show with a future," after the departure of original Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont in the middle of Season 2. "Without [Mazzara], that future is dim. Showrunners are not development executives, we're not cookiecutter d-----bags that you plug into a preexisting model. TWD will suffer. Even Zombies need consistency. Mad Men and Breaking Bad will be gone soon. So will AMC."
Shawn Ryan, who created FX's The Shield, a show on which both Mazzara and Sutter worked, also spoke out on Twitter against AMC, beginning simply with, "AMC WTF?"
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"Common knowledge that AMC cut Breaking Bad shorter than it should have been," continued Ryan, who also created FX's Terriers, Fox's The Chicago Code, and ABC's soon-to-be-ending Last Resort. "Now you have creative differences with biggest hit's savior. ... With FX, Showtime, HBO, Starz, Cinemax, A&E, TNT and others to sell to, it's a real question now why good show runners should sell to AMC?"
AMC picked up 16 episodes of Breaking Bad when it was renewed for a final season, though producers lobbied for more. AMC was also famously locked in a very public (and heated) negotiation with Matthew Weiner, the creator and executive producer of award magnate Mad Men, back in early 2011.
Breaking Bad will wrap sometime in 2013, and Mad Men will air its second-to-last season next year.
What do you think of Sutter and Ryan's comments?