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Walking Dead Axes Writing Staff, Mulls Freelancers For Season 2

As AMC’s The Walking Dead heads into the finale of its record-breaking first season, Deadline reports that executive producer Frank Darabont has let go of the writing staff for the critically acclaimed drama.

Charles H. Eglee, an executive producer who co-wrote the third episode “Tell It to the Frogs,” is apparently among those sent packing.

Darabont, a filmmaker whose only previous TV credit is The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, is considering using freelance writers for the show’s second season, a move that could lead to logistical problems as well as conflicts with the Writers Guild. However, Darabont may be buoyed by the success of the first season, which saw him write two episodes and co-write or rewrite the other four. Two of those were penned by non-staff writers: executive producers/comic creator Robert Kirkman (“Vatos”), and Glen Mazzara (“Wildfire”).

Deadline notes a final decision hasn’t been made, and that Darabont could still end up using a combination of staff and freelance writers for the 13-episode second season, which likely won’t debut until October.

The first-season finale of The Walking Dead airs Sunday at 10 p.m. EST/PST on AMC.


  • Chris Wallis

    good, with the exception of the pilot and the last 10 minutes on the latest episode, the show has been a snoozefest

  • Squashua


  • Kevin Melrose

    Is the backlash beginning already? That was fast!

  • Dwight

    Hey, here’s a crazy, nutty, far-out idea…

    Since Darabont is already working with a proven, revered, time-tested, and commercially successful plot line…


    When was the last idea/dialog line/plot point that was in-continuity? Episode 2?

    No. No. No. Who does this Kirkman upstart think he is? No Darabont knows Kirkman better than Kirkman.

    FACEPALM. Balls like churchbells. Cojones grande.

    I know Kirkman is trying to be a team player and write what he’s asked as a loyal staff member, but he’s due for an Alan Moore creator “Eff this!” awakening if this story doesn’t get back on the rails.

  • Lando

    so Kirkman is lying his ass off when he has said multiple times that he doesn’t want the show to follow the plot line directly?

  • Kevin Melrose

    Robert Kirkman controls the rights to The Walking Dead, is an executive producer of the AMC adaptation, has been involved in the creative process for the series, and even wrote the fourth episode, which (gulp) deviated significantly from the original plot. So what makes you think he’s “trying to be a team player” or heading toward an “eff this!” moment?I’ve had issues with some of the creative decisions in the first five episodes, and I’ve laid them out in my weekly recaps. But all in all — and I don’t mean this as a slight to Kirkman or Tony Moore — the majority of the deviations from the comic have improved the story. The fleshing out of Lori and Shane’s relationship? The decision to keep Shane alive, at least for a little longer? The addition of the Dixon brothers? We’ll see how the trip to the CDC pans out …The strengths of serial television are different from the strengths of serial comics, and it would be silly ignore that in an effort to produce an issue-by-issue, or page-by-page, adaptation of The Walking Dead.

  • Chris Wallis

    i can understand taking liberties with the material, so far however, the ones taken are boring.

    all of the things i liked from the first episode are gone. the acting has progressively gotten worse, IMO.

    I can understand taking chunks of episode’s to dedicate towards character development, but really we are still left without knowing much about ANY of them.
    We know the dixons are white trash, we know that Rick is dry and oblivious, the kid is all but non existent now. I feel like flashbacks of previous lives would have helped paint clearer pictures of the characters and explain their often irrational, ridiculous behavior.

  • Firewriter

    Why can’t we just be happy an original comic series is making such a huge splash on television? So what if the show differs from the comic series?! TWD belongs to Kirkman and that’s part of the fun. You don’t know what will happen next. You can only guess at what Kirkman and Darabont are going to do next.

    The perceived “backlash” just makes “the fans” look like a bunch of ingrates. I’m happy for RK and I’m happy that the book that made me think zombies are cool is doing so well on television.

    (Of course, if I don’t see Michonne next season, I’m burning Kirkman’s house down.)

  • Firewriter

    Oh, and make Kirkman write more episodes next season. I thought Vatos was a great episode.

  • Squashua

    Look, I love that this show exists, but the last couple episodes have been as dull as can be. “You’re scaring the children” Why? Because he’s digging graves and the kids didn’t know about it till you dragged them up there? BFD; let the guy dig graves and pass out.

    And waiting and waiting and waiting and wait are we still waiting? Waiting and waiting for Amy with Andrea was just a way to kill time.

    So much of nothing and nowhere happened last episode besides finding Desmond in the Hatch (I’m not quite a fan of a turn like that this early, but it makes some sense) that I almost fell asleep, referred to it as “The Boring Dead” on Facebook and my comment was “liked” by 10 friends, all of whom are interest in the show. I ain’t the only one.

    Sure, the book isn’t all zombie action, but at least I can read through it. The actors appear to be walking dead through their poorly conceived lines and rationales.

  • Firewriter

    NO FLASHBACKS! As Squashua already pointed out, they’ve found Desmond in the hatch (freaking hilarious). But if they start with the flashbacks then the show will forever be dogged as a Lost clone with zombies instead of a smoke monster.

    I’m not arguing with you about character development. I agree. I’m just hoping some of the early issues best moments for characterization (the farmhouse, the prison) are introduced so we can get more out of what we all know are great characters.

  • Chris Wallis

    i think saying its a Lost clone for doing flashbacks is kinda much. How else do we explore peoples past lives? Them orally telling it around the campfire every single episode?

    The pilot had scenes from the hospital when Rick was under anesthesia and that was perfectly done. They could easily place tasteful scenes including the histories of these characters in, without overwhelming the narrative.

    This cant be Lost unless it involves time travel, string theory, supernatural deities, and a heavenly foyer at the end for what WAS purgatory despite actually calling it that, in an attempt to cover tracks of saying thats not what was happening for 6 years of randomness.