AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan has addressed the controversy surrounding showrunner Glen Mazzara's recent exit from AMC's mega-hit zombie drama "The Walking Dead." In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Sapan pushed back on the criticism that AMC is not a supportive place for showrunners to work and insisted the decision to part ways with Maazara was mutual.

When asked to respond to the criticism from "Sons Of Anarchy" showrunner Kurt Sutter and "Last Resort" and "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan that the network was gaining a reputation as a place where the best creative minds in TV didn't want to work, Sapan said, "We really do believe that people who make great TV shows have a rare capability, and we hold them in extraordinarily high regard. Certainly it would be preferable to have as much continuity as possible. We’ll forge ahead and hope to make great shows and be the best place to work ... We’ll do the best we can to be an environment where the best creative people can flourish. We’ll hopefully learn from everything we do."

Mazzara has been replaced as "Walking Dead" showrunner by Scott Gimple, who has served as an executive producer on the show since Season 2. Gimple will be the third showrunner to helm the show in three seasons after Mazarra replaced original boss Frank Darabont during Season 2. Reports have pointed to "The Walking Dead" comic creator Robert Kirkman as the person responsible for forcing Mazzara out.

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    Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln)

  • "The Sorrowful Life"

    A walker.

  • "The Sorrowful Life"

    Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan)

  • "I Ain't a Judas"

    Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker)

  • "I Ain't a Judas"

    Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker), Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus)

  • "The Suicide King"

    Andrea (Laurie Holden)

  • "The Suicide King"

    Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker)

  • "The Suicide King"

    Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus).

  • The Walking Dead Season 3 Cast

    (L-R) Lori Grimes (Sarah Wayne Callies); Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs); Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus); Carol (Melissa Suzanne McBride); T-Dog (Robert 'IronE' Singleton); Beth Greene (Emily Kinney); Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson); Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln); Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan); Glenn (Steven Yeun); The Governor (David Morrissey); Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Andrea (Laurie Holden) - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC

  • The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1 Stills

    (L-R) Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), T-Dog (Robert 'IronE' Singleton), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).

  • The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1 Stills

    (L-R) Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), T-Dog (Robert 'IronE' Singleton), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) .

  • The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1 Stills

    Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan).

  • The Governor

    The Governor (David Morrissey)

  • Merle

    Merle (Michale Rooker).

  • Rick Grimes

    Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln).

  • Michonne

    Michonne (Danai Gurira).

  • The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1 Stills

    Your friendly jail zombie.

  • The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 1 Stills

    Your friendly neighborhood zombie.

  • Michonne & Friends

    Michonne (Danai Gurira)