[Warning: This story contains major spoilers about AMC's The Walking Dead and the comic book series it originated from.]
AMC may have just spoiled what might turn out to be the worst-kept TV secret of 2012.
On the AMC website early Thursday, The Walking Dead's second season limited edition Blu-ray set was being promoted. One problem: The item's description included a major spoiler, touting that the bonus features include "Shane's last episode." Does this mean Jon Bernthal's character will soon meet his demise?
Bernthal's future on the zombie drama has been in question since his character, the increasingly hot-headed former deputy, died in Issue 6 of the comics on which the series is based. That means Bernthal's incarnation has long outlived his comic-book counterpart. Furthermore, news that Bernthal was in talks for Frank Darabont's new TNT pilot only increased fans' suspicions that the TV series Shane would soon be a goner.
"You know the Shane character was killed off in the comic book very, very early," Walking Dead executive producer Glen Mazzara recently told TVGuide.com. "We are a show that is going to surprise people. People can speculate. I haven't read the Frank script, but it is conceivable that Bernthal's character gets offed in that [TNT] pilot. I haven't read it. So I don't want to say anything about secrets or spoilers or anything like that, but I think fans will be satisfied with our story, and I'm just going to focus on that, not other material."
By Thursday night, the website had been shut down (you can see a photo of the site below). "The post on the AMC store was completely unauthorized," an AMC spokesperson said in a statement. "The matter is currently under investigation."
Have the clues that Bernthal might be leaving the series ruined the season for you? Hit the comments with your thoughts.