Carlton Cuse, who had been the main creative force behind reviving Paramount’s Jack Ryan franchise as a TV series, is stepping back from day-to-day showrunner duties after two seasons. He will remain involved as an executive producer on the action drama, starring and executive produced by John Krasinski. A search will be launched for a new showrunner.
Cuse is now expected to focus his attention on his Netflix series, Locke & Key, which he also shepherded to the screen, as well as his development under the big overall deal he has at ABC Studios, including two high-profile projects at the upcoming direct-to-consumer platform Disney+ as well as Atlas, a futuristic sci-fi Western he has in the works at Amazon with Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring.
The news of Cuse’s scaled-back responsibilities comes on the heels of Amazon giving Jack Ryan an early Season 3 renewal last month. Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said at the time of the announcement that, following the success of the political thriller’s first season and the creative on Season 2, which is yet to premiere, she “saw no reason not to do” more episodes.
While streamers do not release viewership data, Jack Ryan is believed to have done very well, possibly ranking as Amazon Video’s most watched original series.
Former Lost co-showrunner Cuse originally teamed with former Lost writer Graham Roland on adapting Clancy’s books into a TV series. The two wrote together the first two seasons, with Cuse as the physical showrunner, a demanding job given the nature of the globe-trotting spy drama that has required frequent international travel to various filming locations around the world. He is stepping back after recently delivering a cut for the upcoming second season, which was well received, leading to the Season 3 renewal. (Season 2 of Jack Ryan also was picked up ahead of the series’ premiere.)
Jack Ryan, which hails from Platinum Dunes, Skydance Media and Paramount TV, is a small-screen reinvention with a modern sensibility of the famed and lauded Tom Clancy hero, starring Krasinski and Abbie Cornish. It centers on Jack Ryan (Krasinski), an up-and-coming CIA analyst thrust into a dangerous field assignment for the first time. He uncovers a pattern in terrorist communications that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit with a new breed of terrorism that threatens destruction on a global scale.
In season two, Jack Ryan confronts the forces in power in a dangerous, declining democratic regime in South America.
Cuse is one of the most respected and well liked showrunners in the business. He has shaped the careers of scores of young writers who have gone one to become top showrunners in their own right. For the past five years, he has juggled multiple series, including Bates Motel, The Strain, Colony, The Returned and Jack Ryan.