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Who Should Be Leading ‘The Walking Dead’?

Television Without Pity

Who Should Be Leading ‘The Walking Dead’?

"Walking Dead": There's a new sheriff in town (AMC)

In a surprise to many, Frank Darabont is stepping 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, the series has a lot of potential, and we're hoping Mazzara and his new batch of writers can help realize it. Without a strong showrunner, though, "Dead" could shuffle through Season 2 directionless. And 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 with "Deadwood," and while AMC might not be the place to throw profanity into every sentence, Milch 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 have improved.

Greg Berlanti
He might have been an odd fit, but the "Brothers and Sisters" producer 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.

[Related: Get the Full Scoop on Frank Darabont's 'Walking Dead' Departure]

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
Tolan has 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 Fuller's more fanciful, brightly colored vision, it could've been an interesting fit.

Watch the "Walking Dead" Season 2 trailer right here:A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

Joss Whedon
Under the "Buffy" mastermind's stewardship, Rick and Shane would've been killed off, and a new hot girl would've come in and run the ragtag group of survivors by kicking butt and taking names. She likely would 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. Ryan 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 deserves a series that will stick around for a while.

Josh Schwartz
It would have been a slightly lighter take on zombies with the "O.C." and "Chuck" producer 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. Hmmm... actually, maybe this one wouldn't have worked out so well.

[Photos: Check out photos of the "Walking Dead" cast.]

Damon Lindelof
Instead of creating fake "Lost" videos to try to make up for the end of that series, Lindelof 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, Davies 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.

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