Former Walking Dead exec explains why it can really 'suck' to kill characters

Contributed by
Oct 10, 2013

Under his watch, The Walking Dead took out a boatload of major players — and now former showrunner Glen Mazzara is here to explain the good and bad of killing characters.

Mazzara wrote a column for The Hollywood Reporter where he breaks down the ins and outs of killing major characters on television (not to mention the history of the phenomenon), as well as the conversations that take place behind the scenes.

It’s a fascinating read, and Mazzara sheds some light on the anguish that surrounds the decision to kill a character — which essentially constitutes firing them from the show. Check out an excerpt below:

“I find that the debates over whether to kill off a character take weeks, if not months. Every alternative is explored. When the showrunner expresses his or her vision and gains consensus among the creative team, the writers go off and write the material. Once that's in the best possible shape, the actor needs to be informed.

Telling someone they are going to be out of work is hard. Telling them it's because they've done a good job getting people to care deeply about their character is hard to rationalize. Telling them it's best for the show can be insulting. Trust me, those calls suck.”

As much as fans complain and argue about the decision to ax their favorite characters, it’s awesome that Mazzara has opened up to give us a peek into how those decisions are actually made. Mazzara himself made several tough calls during his tumultuous stint at the helm of Dead, so you’d think he’s more than qualified to explain it.

What TV death has affected you the most over the years?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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