After turning around a flailing sophomore season for AMC's The Walking Dead, the network announced that on the heels of an amazing third season start -- and a fourth season pickup -- Glen Mazzara will be stepping down as showrunner after the current season is over. Mazzara, who replaced original showrunner Frank Darabont, said: "I have told the stories I wanted to tell and connected with our fans on a level that I never imagined. It doesn’t get much better than that." Here is the full statement from AMC:

Today, AMC announces the season 4 pick-up of The Walking Dead.

AMC also jointly announces with Glen Mazzara today that for future seasons, the two parties have mutually decided to part ways. Glen guided the series creatively for seasons 2 and 3. AMC is grateful for his hard work. We are both proud of our shared success.

Both parties acknowledge that there is a difference of opinion about where the show should go moving forward, and conclude that it is best to part ways. This decision is amicable and Glen will remain on for post-production on season 3B as showrunner and executive producer.

Well, this news is like getting a delicious cake and then being told it was made by a person who can no longer bake for you. The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 10 at 9:00 PM.

Walking Dead Renewed, Parts Ways With Showrunner Glen Mazzara Over 'Difference of Opinion' [TVLine]

Photo credit: AMC