The AMC cable network today confirmed earlier reports that Scott M. Gimple will take over as series showrunner for Season 4 of the zombie sensation.

Gimple succeeds Glen Mazzara, who was relieved of his duties in a controversial move that was deemed "amicable" by both AMC and Mazzara.

AMC also announced that production on Season 4 will get under way May 6 in Atlanta. Ga. Season 4 will premiere in October and consist of 16 episodes.

In addition, co-executive producer/ special effects makeup supervisor and director Greg Nicotero and producer Tom Luse have been promoted to executive producers.

"Scott has been an essential part of this show since he came aboard at the very beginning of Season 2," said series creator Robert Kirkman in a statement. "He's contributed to guiding this show in a substantial way that has resulted in a lot of the key scenes and storylines fans have dubbed signature moments. I am thrilled to begin work on a brand new season of 'The Walking Dead' with Scott at the helm, and I truly believe we could be embarking on what will be the best season of this show yet."

Several reports have stated that Kirkman and Mazzara clashed over the direction of the show, which has become prime-time's most popular series among viewers 18-49.

Gimple will be the drama's third showrunner in four years.

"I'm thrilled to continue the tradition of the spectacular, cinematic, horrifying, exciting and emotional storytelling of 'The Walking Dead,'" Gimple said. "I'm a huge fan of the comics, and started with the show on the other side of the set, as an avid viewer. Over the past two years, it's been an incredible privilege making such great television with the best cast and crew I've ever worked with — I can't wait to make some more."

Gimple has penned five episodes of the show, including this season's "Hounded" and last season's midseason finale "Pretty Much Dead Already."