Carol fans, breathe a sigh of relief, because actress Melissa McBride is not going anywhere on The Walking Dead. McBride took to Twitter following the announcement that Chad L. Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green and Emily Kinney had been upgrade to series regulars to explain why she wasn't also on that list.
"Awesome outpouring thanks!" McBride tweeted in response to people demanding she be a regular as well. "But I currently am a series regular. It's legalese, and what it means for my castmates now is CONGRATULATIONS!!
As TVLine explains, the "legalese" she's likely referring to is that her name appears following the main credits on The Walking Dead, in a second sequence typically reserved for guest stars and recurring actors. Scott Wilson's name is also in that sequence, and his Hershel is a series regular as well.
No one seems to have an answer for why McBride's name isn't in the opening titles, and TVLine's sources say The Walking Dead contracts allow AMC and the show's producers to place the names of series regulars in either credits sequence. One producer who doesn't seem to have a say is Robert Kirkman.
“There are a lot of executive producers on the show and that’s not my forte,” he told TVLine. “I don’t even know what the series regular term actually really means when it gets down to it, I’m sorry to admit.”
That means that Coleman, Martin-Green and Kinney's names could also appear in that second credits sequence even though they've been promoted. In other changes for Season 4, Melissa Ponzio has been added as a recurring actress and Scott Gimple will take over as showrunner from Glen Mazzara.