At the open of the summer premiere of AMC’s talk show “Talking Dead” on Aug. 12, host Chris Hardwick directly addressed viewers with the following:
“Hi, normally I recap the show we’re about to talk about here, but instead I really just want to take a minute and say I’m so appreciative to be standing here right now. I want to thank you, ‘The Walking Dead’ community, for all of your support these last couple of months. You know, this show is not just a job to me. This is a vital part of my life. This has been a sanctuary these last seven years we’ve been here. This has been with me through good times and bad times, and I have so much gratitude to you, the fans. And the producers and the amazing casts of both of these shows, for allowing me to come here and be a part of this community every week.
“This is what this is, this is a community. And we’re on the precipice of a lot of changes on both “Walking Dead’ shows in the coming weeks and months. I’m so looking forward to going on that journey with you. And I’ve said the following words a million times, countless times and yet I have never been more thankful than I am at this very moment to say to you, that I am Chris Hardwick, and this is ‘Talking Dead.’”
Hardwick had been temporarily suspended from AMC this summer due to sexual misconduct allegations from his ex-girlfriend Chloe Dykstra. He was cleared by the network after a weeks-long investigation.