AMC actually "slashed" the budget for season 2. Show runner Frank Darabont who had a large role in the creative vision for season one was fired over his protests to the budget cuts.
Sources say last fall, even before the first episode of the show had aired, AMC let it be known that it would effectively slash the show's second-season budget per episode by about $650,000, from $3.4 million to $2.75 million. AMC cut the budget and pocketed a tax credit previusly applied to the show. An AMC source says the size of the cut cited by sources is "grossly inflated" and that the second-season budget represents a more typical and sustainable number for a basic cable show.
I am starting to wish AMC listened to Frank because this season has been rather boring.
Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid.