Frank Darabont steps down as showrunner for <strong><em>The Walking Dead</em></strong>
To the surprise of everyone, Frank Darabont, the creator, executive producer and director of AMC's hit series The Walking Dead, will be stepping down as showrunner, reports Deadline.

The news comes just days after Frank Darabont made an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con to promote Season 2 of his hit zombie series. While he will no longer be involved in running the show from day to day, there is speculation he may still be on board the series in some capacity.

"There is speculation that Darabont might be off the show completely, but I hear talks are still ongoing about him possibly staying on in some capacity. Darabont, who spent five years trying to get a TV version of the zombie saga off the ground and wrote and directed the AMC pilot, hails from the feature world, and I hear that he never quite adjusted to the daily grind of producing a TV series. Last December, he considered forgoing a writing staff for Season 2 and assigning scripts to freelancers but ultimately went for the traditional writing staff model recommended by the network and tapped Glen Mazzara as an executive producer and his No. 2. It is unclear if The Shield alum Mazzara, who has showrunning experience, would now step in to run Walking Dead. I hear that the behind-the-scenes turmoil has not affected production on the show, which continues as scheduled."

Frank Darabont's departure hasn't had an affect on the Season 2 production of The Walking Dead, which is currently shooting in Atlanta. The second season is set to premiere on October 16 on AMC.