01/18/2013 03:20 pm ET

AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan Addresses 'The Walking Dead' Glen Mazzara Controversy

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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