Fear the Walking Dead Fans Petition for Removal of Showrunners

Dissatisfied Fear the Walking Dead viewers have launched a petition calling for the firing of showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg. The petition, put into motion by “BRINGBACKFEAR TWD” on Change.org, calls for Chambliss and Goldberg to be removed and replaced by original three-season showrunner Dave Erickson, who co-created the series with The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman. The petition argues Erickson’s successors rebranded the spinoff for a new audience, a move that was a “huge insult to the original fans and to Dave.” Another point of contention is the decision to kill former lead Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) and replace her with TWD transplant Morgan (Lennie James), who assumed lead duties in Season 4 — Chambliss and Goldberg’s debut season — as part of the first-ever crossover between both shows.

Chambliss and Goldberg earlier faced criticism on social media when Talking Dead prompted fans to submit questions for the showrunners ahead of their appearance on the aftershow. The episode, to air following Sunday’s Fear Season 5 finale, was prerecorded earlier this week and will see Chambliss and Goldberg joined by stars Austin Amelio and Jenna Elfman.

Network AMC has yet to address largely negative fan feedback that has plagued Fear all season. Unfavorable fan reactions to a recent episode went so far as to call the spinoff “unwatchable,” and more reactions to “Channel 5,” the penultimate episode of the season, had some commenters calling it a franchise worst.

On Rotten Tomatoes, a 60% critics rating gives Fear Season 5 the lowest TomatoMeter score of both shows. Its audience score, 28% from 105 user ratings, is similarly the lowest of the entire franchise. This is down from Season 4, certified fresh at 81% with an audience score of 62%. Season 3 won the highest approval with 83% from critics and 72% from audiences, topping its premiere season (77% critics, 60% audience) and its sophomore season (70% critics, 54% audience).

Chambliss and Goldberg are now developing Season 6, as announced by the cabler during Fear’s Hall H presentation at San Diego Comic-Con in July. There the showrunners teased a “big change” that promises to reinvent the show.

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“Without giving something away, the world is going to expand in a big way and by the time we get to the end of the season, it’s really going to shake the entire group to the very core and really change the show in a way that will launch us into Season 6, in a really big way,” Chambliss said. “We’re constantly striving to change what Fear is and reinvent it. So just as soon as everyone thinks they’ve figured out what we’re doing, we change things up, and that’s gonna continue through Season 5. There’ll be a big change at the end of Season 5.”

Fear the Walking Dead first airs its Season 5 finale, “End of the Line,” Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9/8c on AMC.