Watching the first two episodes of “The Walking Dead’s” new season, I got a quizzical look on my face when I saw a writing credit for “Ardeth Bey.”

TWD_201_0616_3558 Sounded familiar….

It took me awhile to remember that’s the name of the Mummy, and a bit of web surfing (somehow this got past me) to learn it’s actually a pseudonym for writer-producer Frank Darabont, who developed the series but subsequently left the show, abruptly, after reported differences with AMC over efforts to reduce the budget.

AMC did list Darabont as an exec producer in the glossy pamphlet that went out with the second-season premiere, but had no information regarding how he’d be credited on future scripts. The writer’s agents at CAA, meanwhile, didn’t respond to emails about what TWD_201_calliesif any other Universal monsters might be popping up in the future.

“The Walking Dead” represents a major franchise for AMC, and not just because the network could use a full-fledged commercial hit to augment its critical darlings “Mad Men,” “Breaking Bad” and (until its finale, anyway) “The Killing.” The show will also provide a launching pad for the channel’s next original drama, the period piece “Hell on Wheels,” which premieres in early November.

For what it’s worth, no matter who gets credit for the script, the writers did a pretty terrific job. But I still don’t entirely understand why Darabont — rightfully praised for his role adapting the graphic novel — chose to keep his name under wraps.