EXCLUSIVE: Glen Mazzara has closed a deal to join AMC’s breakout hit The Walking Dead as a writing executive producer and No.2 to creator/ executive producer/ director Frank Darabont for the show’s upcoming second season. He is in the process of putting together a staff of about 5 writers.

The move comes 3 months after the writing staff for The Walking Dead’s first season was disbanded, including then-No. 2 to Darabont, writing executive producer Charles “Chic” Eglee (most of the writers were let go, Eglee joined another project, FX’s Powers). At the time, Durabont was exploring the idea of forgoing a writing staff altogether in favor of using freelancers. In the end, the show is reverting to the traditional writing staff model with a staff comparable or a little bigger in size to Season 1 whose order was for 6 episodes vs. 13 for Season 2. One of the 6 episodes of Walking Dead‘s first season was written on freelance basis by Mazzara. The Shield alum Mazzara recently served as showrunner on the first season of Starz’s Crash and the second season of Hawthorne.