Supporters of the actress — who has played Carol since Season 1 — took to TVLine’s comments section to demand that AMC finally do the right thing and make her a regular as well.
There’s just one problem: McBride is, and has been, a regular — a fact she confirmed herself on Twitter Wednesday. Responding to the “awesome outpouring” of support following news of Chad L. Coleman, Sonequa Martin-Green and Emily Kinney’s promotions, McBride maintained, “I currently am a series regular.” She then chalked up questions about her status to, “legalese.”
The legalese she no doubt refers to also happens to be the source of much of the confusion. Unlike the majority of Walking Dead‘s regulars, McBride’s name is not included in the main title sequence alongside co-stars like Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus. Instead, she’s listed in the secondary credits (aka “Also Starring”) following the first commercial break — a section reserved on most shows for guest stars.
According to sources, the fine print of Walking Dead contracts gives producers (and AMC) the right to include series regulars in either section. To wit, Scott Wilson (Hershel) — who receives the same post-opening credits billing as McBride — is also a series regular.
What’s not clear is how these decisions are made. For example, why was Danai Gurira — who joined the show as Michonne in Season 3 — given main title billing immediately, while an original castmember like McBride has yet to receive that honor?
One person who (surprisingly) doesn’t have the answer is series creator Robert Kirkman. “There are a lot of executive producers on the show and that’s not my forte,” he tells 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.”