Over a week after Deadline revealed that Yvette Nicole Brown would be handling Chris Hardwick’s moderating duties for The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead panel at Comic-Con, AMC today said the Community actor will be fronting the Season 9 preview special for the zombie-apocalypse series and the series’ much watched aftershow.
“Yvette Nicole Brown will step in as an interim guest host of The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special on August 5 and Talking Dead when it returns following the premiere of Fear the Walking Dead on August 12, as we work to complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick,” the cabler said Friday.
Today’s not altogether unexpected announcement comes exactly one week before the show led by Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Norman Reedus and its FearTWD spinoff are scheduled to make their annual appearance in the huge Hall H at SDCC.
As Hardwick denied accusations of emotional abuse and sexual assault by ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, AMC said on June 16 that the Nerdist founder had “decided to step aside from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month.” The Charlie Collier-run outlet also pulled the plug on the Season 2 debut of Talking With Chris Hardwick that same day — one day before the first episode with Donald Glover was about to go to air.
Still, Hardwick might be at SDCC after all, behind the scenes. While the multi-platform host is off the schedule, his spouse Lydia Hearst is on board to appear at Syfy’s Z Nation panel at the confab.
— Lydia Hearst (@LydiaHearst) July 13, 2018
Hearst has been a big supporter of her husband, urging her social media followers as recently as June 28 to sign a “Bring Chris Hardwick Back” online petition. With more than 35,000 signed so far, the call to action is pretty straight forward. Hardwick has been tossed off AMC and out of other entities for being “accused, not convicted of sexual assault.” It asks fans that “if you agree, that removing Chris from these projects, shows, etc. (w)ithout investigating is wrong then please sign the petition.”
No word if Brown will become the permanent host of Talking Dead once TWD returns for its ninth season in the fall. However, at this point, if you were a betting man or woman ….