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Who Should’ve Been <I>The Walking Dead</I>‘s New Showrunner?

In a surprise to many observers, Frank Darabont recently stepped down as the showrunner for The Walking Dead, to be replaced by executive producer Glen Mazzara. While we had some issues with the first season -- most of which had to do with the inadequate scripts and the fact that the annoying Shane didn't die like he was supposed to (on this matter, we'd like to defer to the comic) -- the series has a lot of potential and we hope Mazzara and a new batch of writers help realize it. But at the same time, we can't help thinking about how some other big-name producers could've handled the job...

David Milch
The guy had us fascinated by the Wild West, and while AMC might not be the place to throw the word "cocksucker" into every sentence, he sure would've elevated the dialogue and perhaps even brought out good performances from some of the more wooden cast members (Sarah Wayne Callies, we're looking at you.)

Eric Kripke
We've had our issues with recent seasons of Supernatural, but Kripke might have been able to get a good handle on undead beasties. And he probably would've found some not-too-unattractive people to play survivors and perhaps drive cool cars. And think of how much the soundtrack could've improved.

Greg Berlanti
He might have been an odd fit, but he does have a knack for addictive (if nonsensical) melodrama. For example, he might have actually made us care about the Shane/Rick/Lori love triangle... though we doubt it.

Kevin Murphy
Murphy took over Caprica right around the time when it started getting good and everyone stopped watching. It might've been nice for him to have a show with a built-in audience for his compelling thoughts on what actually qualifies as being alive.

Peter Tolan
He's tackled just about every issue you can imagine on Rescue Me. Perhaps what Walking Dead really needed was Rick hallucinating Jesus.

Bryan Fuller
He's got a handle on the undead after Dead Like Me and Pushing Daisies -- Anna Friel was basically the hottest zombie we've ever seen. Though the stark landscape of Walking Dead might not have jibed with his more fanciful and brightly colored vision, it could've been an interesting fit.

Joss Whedon
Under his stewardship, Rick and Shane would've been killed off and we would've gotten a new hot girl who would come in and run the ragtag group of survivors by kicking ass and taking names. She would likely have been played by Eliza Dushku, but despite that, we wanted this to happen.

Shawn Ryan
We would have loved to see the brain behind Terriers and The Shield get his hands on this show. He knows cops, he knows how to add a little bit of humor (so he could handle Glenn as comic relief) and he knows how to deal with criminal minds like Merle and Darryl. Think of all the amazingly disturbing things he could have had those brothers do. And after losing Terriers and The Chicago Code back to back, Ryan deserved a series that will stick around for a while.

Josh Schwartz
It would have been a slightly lighter take on zombies with him at the helm, with Glenn suddenly the center of attention and the survivors spending an inordinate amount of time celebrating made-up holidays and hanging out at abandoned electronic stores. Hmm, actually, maybe this one wouldn't have worked out so well.

Damon Lindelof
Instead of creating fake Lost videos to try and make up for the end of that series, he could've redeemed himself by making the best damned zombie show we've ever seen, provided he was able to avoid undead men in black and smoke monsters.

Russell T Davies
The Doctor Who reviver's sensibility could have worked with this show since, like Kripke, he knows how to deal with creatures of the supernatural variety. And he's producing Torchwood: Miracle Day, which is basically about living human corpses, so this would've been a natural progression for him.

Edgar Wright
Too much to ask that we could have had the guy who directed Shaun of the Dead to help keep this zombie show alive? Probably, but we still would've walked anywhere to see it.

Who would you like to see at the helm? Sound off below.

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