Following the firing of programming chief Roy Price, Amazon Studios has faced the departure of their fourth executive in four months as Conrad Riggs, the former head of unscripted entertainment, departs the company shortly after Joe Lewis, the former head of comedy and drama.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that Lewis, who was head of comedy anddrama at Amazon Studios has departed the company. Lewis will reportedly exit Amazon Studios with a producing deal while Sharon Tal Yguado, a former Fox International exec, will take over as head of scripted content at Amazon. Earlier this month, Amazon’s programming chief Roy Price left the company amidst sexual allegations from one of Amazon’s top producers.
Amazon Studios CEO Albert Cheng will be filling in for a Price on a temporary basis. Lewis leaving the company marks the fourth high ranking executive to depart Amazon in the past month after the departure of Price and former head of international at Amazon, Morgan Wandell who recently signed with Apple to head the same department.
Lewis has previously been accused of creating a conflict of interest at Amazon Studios after Lewis cast his fiance, Yara Martinez, in Amazon’s recent series, The Tick. Martinez’ role in the series was originally conceived as a male character that would appear as a guest star, following the pilot, the show was reworked and Martinez was cast with her role eventually being elevated to series regular. Martinez has also appeared in two other Amazon original shows, Alpha House and I Love Dick.
Amazon Studios has reportedly been put under pressure following failure to produce a breakout original show in the way that Netflix has with House of Cards and Stranger Things. Producer David E. Kelly who worked on Amazon’s original series Goliath starring Billy Bob Thornton has claimed that the company may be in trouble in terms of their creative department. “Their entertainment division is a bit of a gong show,” Kelley said in October. “They are in way over their heads.”
Conrad Riggs, Amazon Studios’ former head of unscripted entertainment, has also departed the company according to Variety. Riggs was a former producer on popular reality TV series Survivor and was instrumental in signing former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson to Amazon’s series The Grand Tour. However, the new reality series failed to generate the same buzz that Clarkson’s Top Gear had and added to a number of other failed reality TV series masterminded by Riggs.
American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story and food series Eat the World With Emeril Lagasse also failed to gain much popularity. Much like Lewis, Riggs departed following the firing of Roy Price, Amazon has yet to announce who will be running the companies unscripted entertainment division.