According to Frank Darabont, something stinks with The Walking Dead and it isn’t the show’s zombies.
Unless you’ve been under a rock (or dead), you probably know that The Walking Dead is constantly setting viewership records and is basically in a class of its own when it comes to ratings for a scripted program.
You also might be aware that back before the show was a mega-hit, it was a comic. One of the people most responsible for adapting the graphic novels into a series was Frank Darabont, who also served as the showrunner in Season 1.
Just after appearing at San Diego ComicCon to promote Season 2 in 2011, Darabont was dumped by the show’s producers and replaced Glen Mazarra.
Now, Darabont has returned from the dead to haunt the show’s producers with a lawsuit seeking tens of millions of dollars. Darabont’s suit contends that he should be entitled to 12.5 percent of the profits from The Walking Dead, but he hasn’t gotten anything since his firing.
AMC, the network behind the show, argues that despite the massive ratings, the show actually operates in the red. Darabont counters that this is fraud, saying that by producing and distributing the show to itself, the network is hiding its profits.
Adding insult to injury, Darabont also notes that the creator of “Mad Men,” another of AMC’s programs, ” receives a substantial part of a $3 million fee charged for each episode. Although very popular with critics, the period-piece “Mad Men” gets less than one-fourth of the viewership of The Walking Dead.
To settle the score, Darabont wants tens of millions of dollars for his share of The Walking Dead. He’s also asking for a piece of the action from “The Talking Dead,” the Chris Hardwick-hosted discussion panel that airs after each new episode of the The Walking Dead. It’s unclear what, if any, part Darabont played in the creation of the latter program which did not begin airing until Season 2 of the Walking Dead.