AMC yanked the season 2 premiere of Talking with Chris Hardwick, airing in its place a rerun of reality series Ride with Norman Reedus.
Viewers tuning in to catch the season 2 Talking premiere — originally scheduled for 11 p.m. Sunday night — were greeted with a simple message from AMC, reading: “Talking with Chris Hardwick will not be seen tonight.”
Instead, AMC aired the season 2 premiere of Ride with Norman Reedus, ‘Spain with Jeffrey Dean Morgan,’ first aired in November 2017. That episode saw the Walking Dead co-stars trek through Spain, visiting Barcelona and the Falles festival in Valencia.
The network announced their intentions to pull Hardwick’s talk show on Saturday following damning allegations of blacklisting and sexual and emotional abuse made against Hardwick by former three-year girlfriend Chloe Dykstra.
“We have had a positive working relationship with Chris Hardwick for many years,” AMC said in a statement.
“We take the troubling allegations that surfaced yesterday very seriously. While we assess the situation, Talking with Chris Hardwick will not air on AMC, and Chris has decided to step aside from moderating planned AMC and BBC America panels at Comic-Con International in San Diego next month.”
Hardwick, a longtime mainstay of the network and host of live Walking Dead-centric after show Talking Dead, was also set to moderate back-to-back San Diego Comic-Con panels for The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead but was relieved of those duties.
It was learned on Friday AMC was facing pressure from celebrity guest representatives who were said to be “very uncomfortable” being associated with Hardwick in light of the allegations. The already-filmed season 2 premiere of Talking would have featured Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Lion King star Donald Glover. A clip can be watched above.
Other celebrity guests slated for the eight-episode season included Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom star Chris Pratt and Preacher executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
AMC has not yet commented on their plans for Talking Dead, which wouldn’t air next until Fear returns with its mid-season premiere Sunday, August 12.
Hardwick also served as host on AMC’s Breaking Bad-focused Talking Bad, in addition to taking up hosting duties on Talking Saul and Talking Preacher.
“These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond,” Hardwick said in a statement released late Friday, his first and only public comments on the controversy.
In his statement, Hardwick denied the accusations, saying “at no time” did he sexually assault Dykstra, who claimed she has “audio/video” proof to support her allegations, which she detailed in a piece published on Medium.