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Chris Hardwick is a big name in the Walking Dead fandom due to his role has host of Talking Dead and his annual gig as host of The Walking Dead and later Fear the Walking Dead panels at San Diego Comic-Con. He was no Norman Reedus getting bitten by enthusiastic fans, but he was a very familiar face to fans who watch AMC. Hardwick was dropped by AMC earlier this summer due to some troubling abuse allegations, although no statement was ever released about how his various jobs would be handled in the long run. Now, AMC has made a preliminary decision: Walking Dead superfan Yvette Nicole Brown will host the next episode of Talking Dead as well as The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special.
AMC has released a statement revealing that Yvette Nicole Brown of Community fame will serve as interim host of Talking Dead when it returns on August 12 following the Season 4 midseason premiere of Fear the Walking Dead as well as the August 5 preview special for The Walking Dead Season 9. Per Variety, the statement goes on to say that AMC is working to "complete our assessment related to Chris Hardwick," and Yvette Nicole Brown is only on board as interim guest host at this point.
News of Yvette Nicole Brown stepping into Chris Hardwick's role -- even if only temporarily -- comes after it was announced back on July 4 that she was taking over his usual role as host of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead panels at San Diego Comic-Con, which was then less than three weeks away. While her move into the hosting role at SDCC led many to suspect that she was in the running to replace Hardwick on Talking Dead on a full-time basis, Brown herself cleared things up on social media with a tweet stating that she is "filling in for a friend" and "not jockeying for a job," making the point that she has enough jobs of her own.
A question now is whether Yvette Nicole Brown is taking the possibility of hosting Talking Dead full-time more seriously. She's a prime candidate for the job, as she made several appearances on the show to show off her vast knowledge of all things zombie apocalypse and share her analyses. If she has the time in her busy schedule and if AMC is going to replace Chris Hardwick anyway (which still may not happen), could she consider becoming the next Talking Dead host on more than an interim basis?
We'll have to wait and see. AMC isn't giving much away with regard to Chris Hardwick's future or lack thereof on the network, although it didn't waste any time in dropping Hardwick after the abuse allegations broke due to a narrative shared by Hardwick's ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra. She didn't explicitly name Hardwick in her story, but it was quickly deduced that he was the one she was describing. She alleged that he was abusive, controlling, and later blacklisted her in showbiz. Given the speed with which AMC dropped Hardwick and all the negativity surrounding his name nowadays, I would definitely not be shocked if the network decided to cut ties with him and replace him, whether with Yvette Nicole Brown or somebody else. The Walking Dead franchise is after all AMC's big money-maker.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in zombie apocalypse news. You can catch Yvette Nicole Brown hosting first on The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special on August 5 and then on the post-Fear the Walking Dead episode of Talking Dead on August 12. For some alternate viewing options, swing by our summer TV guide.