AMC’s struggles to figure out what to do with its various Chris Hardwick-branded properties took another little step forward today, with Deadline reporting that Yvette Nicole Brown—who previously agreed to step in to handle Hardwick’s upcoming Comic-Con duties in the wake of implied allegations of abuse made in a Medium post by his ex-partner, Chloe Dykstra—will now be hosting a season-opening special, and at least the first few episodes, of this season of his Walking Dead aftershow, Talking Dead.
We can only assume that the decision to bring in Brown, who’s been a frequent guest on the program, will further inflame rumors that AMC intends to employ her as a permanent back-up plan if it decides Hardwick’s status has shifted from “temporary problem” to “totally unworkable.” This, despite the fact that Brown has publicly stated that she has no interest in taking over the job, and only took the Comic-Con gig in order to help out a friend. Now, she’ll be serving as the series’ interim guest host, helming a Walking Dead season 9 preview special on August 5, and the season premiere of Talking Dead after Fear The Walking Dead on August 12.
Hardwick has been estranged from AMC for the last month, as the network continues to evaluate its relationship with the comedian, TV host, and podcaster. Said reevaluation was triggered, presumably, by Dykstra’s essay, in which she described an emotionally and sexually abusive relationship with a former partner who many people, including Hardwick himself, have assumed to have been intended to be him.