UPDATE, 10 AM: Less than a day after Deadline exclusively revealed that Yvette Nicole Brown had been chosen by AMC to step in to moderate The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead panels at Comic-Con later this month, the zombie apocalypse mega-fan confirmed she has the gig. Yet, without mentioning the scandalized Chris Hardwick by name, Brown also insists this Independence Day that she’s not looking to take over from the Talking Dead host permanently.
In a concise but packed tweet on Wednesday morning the Mom actor, Talking Dead semi-regular and SDCC panel vet called the unnamed but clearly insinuated Hardwick, who has been accused of emotional abuse and sexual assault by an ex-girlfriend, a “friend.” Brown added that she wasn’t “jockeying for a job”:
I will say this once. I am filling in for a friend, which I have done before. I am not jockeying for a job. I have enough of my own. It is my prayer that God’s Will is done in the midst of this process & that everyone is okay. My character is known & sound. Nothing has changed.
— yvette nicole brown (@YNB) July 4, 2018
But of course this is Tinseltown and with the much watched Talking Dead expected to return with TWD’s ninth season this fall and Talking with Chris Hardwick apparently not returning to AMC anytime soon, nobody’s really saying never, are they?
PREVIOUSLY, JULY 3 12:44 PM: EXCLUSIVE: Listening to the pleas of fans, AMC has asked mega-fan Yvette Nicole Brown to take over moderating The Walking Dead panel at Comic-Con later this month.
While the cabler hasn’t said anything publicly, Deadline has learned that the Talking Dead regular and Mom actor will replace longtime TWD SDCC panel host Chris Hardwick for the July 20 panel in Hall H. Hardwick was accused of emotional abuse and sexual assault by an ex-girlfriend last month.
A frequent presence at the San Diego confab, Brown will be making her Hall H moderating debut at the early afternoon panel featuring AMC’s TWD and spinoff Fear the Walking Dead.
Details are still being finalized, but the 11:15 AM-1:15 PM gathering in the San Diego Convention Center’s biggest venue is expected to include Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Melissa McBride, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Norman Reedus, FearTWD’s Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo and Lennie James plus EPs Gale Anne Hurd, Robert Kirkman and new TWD showrunner Angela Kang among others. If past years are an indication, also expect to learn the premiere date of TWD’s new season and see a sneak preview of what is expected to be Lincoln’s final year on the show.
Hardwick has denied the allegations from his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra, but the Talking Dead frontman did “step aside” from his TWD and Doctor Who SDCC moderating duties on June 16. After remaining quiet for a day, AMC said at the time that “while we assess the situation, Talking with Chris Hardwick will not air on AMC.”
That decision came at the eleventh hour as Season 2 of Talking with Chris Hardwick was set to premiere June 17.
Brown’s pick as TWD moderator will only raise speculation that the ex-Community actor will end up as the host of Talking Dead when it returns in the fall along with Season 9 of TWD.
Comic-Con 2018 runs July 19-22 in San Diego. Stay hydrated.