Although the ratings have dipped this season, The Walking Dead continues to be a powerhouse performer for network AMC, so it should come as no surprise that the show has been renewed for ninth season. However, there is some surprising behind-the-scenes news, as the show welcomes a new showrunner to the helm.
Angela Kang, who has been a writer and co-executive producer on The Walking Dead since 2011, will assume the showrunner role next season.
Don’t worry though, the change-up is not due to any turmoil with the previous showrunner — in fact, he’s getting a new promotion.
Scott M. Gimple, who took over as showrunner in Season 4, will now be the chief content officer for the entire Walking Dead franchise.
That makes sense, considering Gimple recently joined companion series Fear the Walking Dead as an executive producer for its upcoming fourth season.
There was a behind-the-scenes shakeup on that series, too, with Andrew Chambliss and Ian B. Goldberg taking over as showrunners this season after the departure of co-creator Dave Erickson.
Kang now becomes the fourth showrunner to take the reins on the flagship show, which had something of a revolving door for its first three seasons.
Director Frank Darabont, who developed the show from Robert Kirkman’s comic book series, served as showrunner for Season 1 before departing over budget issues.
Writer/producer Glen Mazzara then took over before departing after Season 3 due to creative differences he had with the network.
Ironically, there have been fan petitions making the rounds online in recent weeks calling for Gimple to be removed from the show due to his decision to (SPOILER ALERT) kill Carl. In one way, fans will get their wish, with Kang now piloting the ship on The Walking Dead; but with Gimple now in charge of the entire franchise, angry fans are unlikely to be satisfied.