Time to slap on an eye patch and bag some walkers, because AMC has just confirmed The Walking Dead Season 4, along with the series’ new showrunner.
The network issued a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming that Scott M. Gimple serves as executive producer and show runner on the fourth season episodes, which are scheduled to begin production May 6 in Atlanta.
Additionally, AMC confirmed promotions for special effects makeup supervisor and director Greg Nicotero, and producer Tom Luse to executive producers alongside current ones Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd and David Alpert.
Sixteen new episodes are scheduled to be produced, with the network eyeing an October debut. The news comes on the heels of the announcement that current showrunner, Glen Mazzara, and the network are parting ways.
Gimple has written for The Walking Dead since its second season, after co-creator Frank Darabont was released from his contract on the ratings-record breaking series. Mazzara was the second showrunner to be ousted from the series at the end of 2012, amidst rumours that Kirkman wanted him out and had problems with his overall vision.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the second half of the third season, which is currently airing on AMC after a mini hiatus, was when things began to break down behind-the-scenes. The publication quotes a source as saying production was shut down “several times” due to not having enough written material.
Mazzara, Kirkman and AMC have remained mum on the whole ordeal.
“Scott has been an essential part of this show since he came aboard at the very beginning of Season 2,” Kirkman did contribute in the release. “He’s contributed to guiding this show in a substantial way that has resulted in a lot of the key scenes and storylines fans have dubbed signature moments of The Walking Dead. I am thrilled to begin work on a brand new season with Scott at the helm, and I truly believe we could be embarking on what will be the best season of this show yet.”
To date, Gimple wrote several of the show’s key episodes, including Season 2′s midseason finale, “Pretty Much Dead Already” and Season 3′s “Hounded.” Previously, he worked on FlashForward at ABC and Life, starring Damian Lewis at NBC.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.