Wow, maybe that Change.org petition actually worked.
"The Walking Dead" is still only halfway through airing Season 8. The next eight episodes start Sunday, Feb. 25. But AMC just announced that the show was renewed for Season 9, and it will have a new leader at the helm.
Longtime TWD episode writer and co-executive producer Angela Kang will take over as showrunner. Scott M. Gimple inked an overall deal, Entertainment Weekly reports, giving him the newly developed title of Chief Content Officer. He will now oversee the entire "Walking Dead" TV franchise, including the main show, "Fear The Walking Dead" (which will feature Morgan Jones in the new season), and future brand extensions.
Angela Kang will become the fourth showrunner in what is increasingly looking like a cursed Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor job.
Frank Darabont created "The Walking Dead" by adapting Robert Kirkman's comic book. He was the first showrunner but was fired halfway through filming Season 2. He was replaced by his No. 2 Glen Mazzara, who took over in Season 2 and lasted until the end of Season 3. He was then fired and replacement with his No. 2, Scott M. Gimple for Seasons 4-8. Darabont has been in a legal battle with AMC for a while, and several other executive producers past and present have also filed suit alleging they were cheated out of profits.
Every showrunner has his or her battles, and Gimple helmed the ship to both its highest ratings (the Season 5 premiere) and the steep decline of Season 7 and Season 8. At this point, the show is earning the kind of same-day numbers they had back in seasons 2 and 3, which can't make advertisers happy.
Gimple also recently came under fire for the shocking story decision to ***SPOILER ALERT*** kill off Carl Grimes. We'll see Carl's death actually happen when Season 8 returns. Young actor Chandler Riggs' father lashed out at Gimple on Facebook for firing his son just before his 18th birthday, after allegedly telling Chandler he wanted the star to stay for the next three years.
After the Season 8 midseason finale revealed Carl was bitten, a Change.org petition was launched to get Gimple fired as showrunner. The petition had more than 82,000 signatures by Saturday, when the new showrunner was announced. Don't let that give you too much hope, petitioners! They were probably going to do it anyway.
But now Angela Kang is the new boss, and here's a look at the work she had a hand in under the previous showrunners:
"The Walking Dead" returns February 25 at 9 p.m. on AMC.
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