The Daryl Dixon Walking Dead Spinoff Adds David Zabel As New Showrunner

AMC's "The Walking Dead" spinoff series, which is poised to fill the void left by the series when it concludes its final season, seems to be going through some major changes behind the scenes. Earlier this week, news broke that Melissa McBride, who was set to star as Carol alongside Norman Reedus' Daryl, would not be working on the show after all. Now, Deadline reports that the series will also be switching up showrunners.

The spinoff, which is one of three currently greenlit new shows set within the world of "The Walking Dead," was originally announced with Angela Kang on board as showrunner. Kang currently serves as showrunner on the flagship series, which is now in its eleventh season. Now, though, Deadline reports that the spinoff series has tapped former "ER" showrunner David Zabel to lead the charge for the new series. Kang is still set to stay on board as an executive producer. Scott Gimple and Kang are co-credited as the show's creators.

The dead are walking (to Europe)

Kang's exit as showrunner was reportedly finalized before McBride stepped away, and Kang is set to continue working on other AMC projects. McBride's departure, meanwhile, was apparently the result of a major switch-up in the production plan. According to TVLine, the series is relocating from Atlanta, GA to Europe. That's a major move for long-time cast members of "The Walking Dead" who have been working on the show in Georgia for over a decade, and McBride isn't the first actor to bow out due to a location issue. Andrew Lincoln, who starred in "The Walking Dead" as its original main protagonist, Rick Grimes, eventually left the flagship series in order to spend time with his family in England.

A representative from AMC shared the following statement about series lead McBride's departure to TVLine on Wednesday:

"Melissa McBride has given life to one of the most interesting, real, human and popular characters in 'The Walking Dead' Universe. Unfortunately, she is no longer able to participate in the previously announced spinoff focused on the Daryl Dixon and Carol Peletier characters, which will be set and filmed in Europe this summer and premiere next year. Relocating to Europe became logistically untenable for Melissa at this time. We know fans will be disappointed by this news, but 'The Walking Dead' Universe continues to grow and expand in interesting ways and we very much hope to see Carol again in the near future."

Although there's no word on whether Kang's continued collaborations with AMC involve "The Walking Dead" spinoffs, there are at least two more in the works. "Isle of the Dead" is set to follow Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Maggie (Lauren Cohan), two characters who have apparently overcome a whole lot since the last time I watched this show, in a new story set in Manhattan. And "Tales of the Walking Dead," an anthology series, has already released its first teaser.

The as-yet-untitled Daryl Dixon spinoff has not announced a release date, but is expected to debut on AMC in 2023.