Joel Stillerman, AMC’s SVP of original programming, production and digital content, immediately addressed the network’s statement confirming the reports that Frank Darabont is out as The Walking Dead’s showrunner, during the Television Critics Association summer press tour Thursday in Beverly Hills. AMC’s statement confirmed that Glen Mazzara, writer and executive producer on the series, is expanding his responsibilities to assume the role of showrunner. The network said it will continue to discuss Darabont’s ongoing role with The Walking Dead.
After Stillerman opened the floor to questions, the crowd immediately inquired about the controversial season finale of The Killing, which several critics panned for misleading viewers by not revealing the murderer in the final episode - the key plot point of the murder mystery series.
See what Stillerman had to say below:
On The Killing finale:
I think the major takeaway for us after the finale of The Killing starts with the headline: For Everybody Who Was Frustrated, We Hear You. If we had to do a different approach it would be managing the expectations of what was going to happen with that season. We never intentionally meant to mislead anybody. Our goal was to create a brilliant piece of character-based storytelling that was mixed with a genre we all love — murder mystery. We definitely didn’t manage expectations the way we should.
We committed to that story fully. I am happy to work at a place that allows us to take some risks. That was a bit of a risk, and I’m glad we took it. I don’t want to say I look forward to doing that type of risk again. We jumped in and stayed the course.
On next season:
You will find out who killed Rosie Larsen definitively next season.
On whether the show was picked up for a second season only after the network decided not to reveal the killer:
We actually gave that some thought after we committed to the highly controversial ending. It’s not unusual for us to pick up a show late in the season. We made a decision at the time we thought was right.
Feedback on The Killing:
We’re incredibly proud of the show as whole and its storytelling. Feedback has been largely positive heading into the finale. It built to a bit of crescendo at the end. Had a lot to do with managing expectations had people not been so convinced they were going to find out [who killed Rosie Larsen].
On a potential third season:
It’s not inconceivable to have a third season of The Killing. I see it as an ongoing character drama [with a crime solving aspect].