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The Walking Dead Creator Explains The Strength Of Past Showrunners

Longtime fans of "The Walking Dead" will know that the series worked with a revolving door of showrunners right up until its series finale. The trouble began in the second season, when Frank Darabont exited the series following some sordid drama behind the scenes with AMC. Following his departure, Seasons 2 and 3 were covered by showrunner Glen Mazzara, while Seasons 4 through 8 were helmed by Scott Gimple. Finally, Angela Kang stepped in as showrunner for Seasons 9 through 11.

While many might see this constant upheaval as a bad thing, author and show creator Robert Kirkman seems to appreciate the idea of multiple showrunners, explaining that each one had their own unique strengths that helped elevate the series as a whole. 

"I will state for the record that I do agree with AMC's decisions in each case and strongly feel they were only acting with the show's best interests in mind," Kirkman said during an AMA on Reddit

He went on to explain that Darabont laid a "solid foundation" for the rest of the series, particularly in its visual style and direction. Meanwhile, Glen was a "shot in the arm" that helped pump up the pace of the story. Further on, Kirkman described Scott Gimple as an "absolute rock star" who helped to highlight the character drama within the series and bring a new level of depth to the story. 

Kirkman's comments make it clear that each showrunner brought something new to the table, and that the mixed cocktail of their creativity was ultimately very good for "The Walking Dead" as a whole.

Kirkman says that every showrunner helped to make the series better

Although it might seem odd for one show to go through so many different showrunners, Robert Kirkman explained that this is somewhat common in television, saying that he regretted the fact that "The Walking Dead" showrunners had been the subject of so much attention given the "behind the scenes drama." It's worth noting that, at the time of this AMA, Angela Kang had not yet been named the active showrunner for Season 9 of "The Walking Dead," though Kirkman has since gone out of his way to sing her praises as well. 

"[Kang brings] youthful vitality and energy. She has a great voice. We've definitely seen it shine through over various episodes over the seasons," Kirkman said to The Hollywood Reporter. "Having it come to the forefront is very exciting."

It's interesting that Kirkman emphasizes what Kang brings to the series to elevate it beyond its previous seasons because Kang had already been a staple of "The Walking Dead" for so many years, initally joining the show as a writer in Season 2 and then climbing her way up the ladder to showrunner. In any case, it's clear that Kirkman is happy with the work of every showrunner "The Walking Dead" has had and the various ways they've breathed new life into the world that he created.