The Walking Dead creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman defended former showrunner Scott Gimple from an ex-viewer who stopped watching the zombie drama because Gimple "ruined the show." Gimple, a writer and producer on The Walking Dead since its second season in 2011, was the third creative to take the reins as showrunner on the AMC-produced series following the departures of Frank Darabont and Glen Mazzara. Serving as showrunner for Seasons 4 through 8, Gimple left the position in 2018 when AMC Networks promoted him to the chief content officer position of its flagship Walking Dead Universe franchise, including its first-ever feature film expansion scripted by Kirkman and Gimple.
During a Reddit Q&A for his new animated superhero series Invincible, Kirkman responded to a scorned fan who questioned how "Gimple's poor running of TWD affected [Kirkman's] vision" for the live-action franchise inspired by his comic book:
"Scott Gimple cares about Walking Dead more than anyone on the planet. At this point he's devoted a significant portion of his life to it. Think about that," Kirkman wrote in response to the former fan, who accused Gimple of "essentially ruin[ing] the show." The Reddit user was seemingly referring to the cliffhanger that ended Season 6, where viewers were left to guess the identity of the victim beaten to death by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
"It's totally okay to not like a decision that was made and yes, after 7 seasons of a show it's also okay to say 'man, enough of this.' but I don't agree he ruined anything. Scott is responsible for a lot of the most beloved aspects of the show," Kirkman wrote. "There are plenty of people out there who love the very things you're complaining about. Different people just like different things. I'm very proud of every minute of The Walking Dead show."
In 2018, Kirkman and Gimple co-created the comic book Die!Die!Die! for Image Comics and Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment. Together they are writers and producers on the still-untitled Walking Dead feature film where the long-missing Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) will return to TWDU — the first chapter in a planned trilogy that will release exclusively in movie theaters.
In his role as TWDU chief content officer, Gimple oversees spin-off Fear the Walking Dead and co-created two-season limited even series The Walking Dead: World Beyond with showrunner Matthew Negrete.
Gimple also co-created the untitled Walking Dead spin-off series starring Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), set for release in 2023 under spin-off co-creator and current Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang, and is now developing anthology spin-off Tales of the Walking Dead for the network.
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of The Walking Dead extended Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9 pm ET/8c on AMC. Header photo credit: Jesse Grant Getty Images for AMC.