Frank Darabont, the creator, executive producer and director of US cable hit The Walking Dead, is stepping down as showrunner of the series.
The zombie series, yet to air in Australia is now in production on its upcoming second season for AMC.
The news is even more surprising given that Darabont was on hand for Walking Dead‘s Comic-Con panel last week alongside fellow executive producers Robert Kirkman, on whose graphic novel the series is based, and Gale Anne Hurd.
There is talk that Darabont, who is said to have never quite adjusted to the daily grind of producing a TV series, may stay on as a consultant.
Season 2 of Walking Dead is slated to premiere Oct. 17th in the US.
Fox International Channels has also issued a Press Release which claims the second season will reach FOX audiences in 122 countries, including Australia.
There is some speculation that FIC could launch a pay television channel in Australia, led by The Walking Dead. Earlier this year TV Tonight readers nominated it as the international show they most wanted to see added to Australian television.
“The Walking Dead audience wants to see this show live,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, SVP of Scripted Programming for FIC. “The first season became a hyped global water cooler event and we feel obligated to bring the show to international viewers right after its US launch.”