AMC President Charlie Collier on The Walking Dead Season 2 Budget

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Speculation has been swirling as to why Frank Darabont stepped down as showrunner of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”: Was it creative differences? The budget the network was offering? Well, AMC President Charlie Collier spoke with Deadline today and did a bit of dancing around the issue. Read on for the details and tell us what you think he’s saying.

The Walking DeadQ: Did you cut the budget on “The Walking Dead” in Season 2?

Collier: If you look at pilot budgets vs. pattern budgets, usually the pilot budget is much higher than what ends up being the pattern budget. With “The Walking Dead”, instead of doing a pilot, we went straight to 6 episodes because we believed in the team and the talent in front and behind the camera. Then we came back with a 13-episode second season, and amortization over 13 episodes is very different than over 6. But we settled into one of the highest pattern budgets for a basic cable series.

Q: So the overall budget for Season 2 is lower than Season 1 because of the amortization factor?

Collier: We went straight to series with the first season serving in many ways as a pilot, and then we have settled into a 13-episode pattern budget.

See what we mean? Dancing.

In any event, the interview (which includes talk about “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men”; hit the below link if you’re a fan of either or both) concluded on a high note with Collier saying:

Negotiations, staffing issues, good and bad reviews, it’s all part of the business. Ours happen to be a little higher profile right now. We feel privileged to be telling some of the best stories on television and working with some of the most talented people in the business.

In this latest season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” TV series, the survivors arrive at Hershel’s Farm, where we will meet Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson), a vet (as in a veterinarian); his daughter, Maggie (Lauren Cohan); and Otis (Pruitt Taylor Vince), the middle-aged ranch foreman who’s such a sweetheart that he all but loses it when he accidentally shoots a fellow survivor. The new cast members join series regulars Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes, Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh, Laurie Holden as Andrea, Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale, Steven Yeun as Glenn, and Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes.

Look for the series premiere on October 16th during AMC’s annual Fearfest.

To stay up-to-the-minute on all things walker related, follow @WalkingDead_AMC on Twitter and visit “The Walking Dead” on Facebook. For more be sure to hit up the official “The Walking Dead” page on

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  • theGoldenSimatar

    Judging by the trailer, it looks like they were able to use every dollar. If one spends smartly and if local tax credits/refunds are available; budget shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

  • Vanvance1

    Translation: He gave them the same budget for 13 episodes that they previously got for 6.

    Terrible news. I can see definite quality issues ahead without Darabont doing the driving.

  • LSD Zombie

    Mmmkay! I think it’s safe to say they lowered the budget. Hopefully not to a point where it harms the show.