Amazon Studios: Joe Lewis Exits As Head Of Comedy & Drama
The executive shakeup at Amazon Studios continues. Just days after studio head Roy Price was fired following a suspension over sexual harassment allegations, also out is his top lieutenant, Head of Half Hour and Drama Series Development Joe Lewis. He is in negotiations for a producing deal with the streaming company.
Lewis’ departure also comes on the heels of Amazon’s Head of International Productions Morgan Wandell leaving to join rival Apple in a serious post. Wandell’s exit, which had been in the works for weeks, leaves Sharon Tal Yguado, who only joined Amazon in January as head of Event Series, as the most senior scripted executive and will now oversee all scripted development. She will be working alongside interim Amazon Studios boss, COO Albert Cheng, who took over when Price was suspended indefinitely on Oct. 12. There is a possibility for the two to continue working as a tandem unless Amazon brings in a top-level programming executive, likely a woman.
Lewis was promoted to head of comedy and drama a year ago. Before that he oversaw development of half-hour series, including breakout Transparent as well as other shows like the Golden Globe-winning Mozart In The Jungle and the praised One Mississippi.
But he has been embroiled in the Roy Price scandal, and there have been reports of a potential conflict of interest-influenced decisions, with his girlfriend, actress Yara Martinez, cast as a series regular on Amazon’s comedy series The Tick cited as a possible example.
Also in doubt at Amazon is the future of unscripted head Conrad Riggs.