As its original series slate continues to grow rapidly, Amazon Studios is bringing in veteran casting director Donna Rosenstein as head of casting. Amazon, the youngest of the Big 3 streaming services, is the first to employ an in-house head of casting, something Netflix and Hulu have not done. Even some cable networks, like Starz and WGN America, don’t have casting executives, instead relying on casting directors who work on a consulting basis. Amazon, which ordered its first pilots in 2013, produces about a dozen primetime pilots every year and nine on-air series, plus kids pilots and series. It’s latest show, The Man In The High Castle, debuts November 20.
Rosenstein, who will be based in Amazon Studios Los Angeles’ offices, also started her relationship with Amazon Studios as a casting consultant for the past two years, working on the award-winning comedy Transparent and popular drama Bosch.
Rosenstein has been the casting director on such series as ABC’s Castle, NBC’s Grimm, CBS’ Zoo and Ghost Whisperer and USA’s Necessary Roughness, having worked on them since the pilot stage. She started her career with jobs in a talent agency, in development and production until her friend, casting director Rhonda Young, asked her in the early 1980s to help her cast a project. Rosenstein served as head of casting at ABC where she worked from 1984 to 1999 before leaving to start her own company, Donna Rosenstein Casting. While at ABC, she was involved in the casting of such series as The Practice, NYPD Blue, Twin Peaks and Roseanne.