It’s understood that the pair gave serious consideration to moving on to entrepreneurial production opportunities before re-upping with the studio. But Erlicht and Van Amburg have spent the past nine years building up a strong roster of creative talent at the studio — including such heavy hitter showrunners as Vince Gilligan, David Shore, Shawn Ryan and Ronald Mooore — and in the end they likely wanted to see many of the projects in the works through to fruition. The execs are believed to have set a three-year extension with Sony.
In recent months Sony Pictures TV has received straight to series orders for five series: Syfy’s “Helix,” Starz’s “Outlander,” AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” CBS’ “Battle Creek” and an untitled drama for Netflix from the production team behind “Damages.”
Retaining Erlicht and Van Amburg was important to Sony brass as the studio has emphasized television operations, headed by SPT prexy Steve Mosko, as a growth engine amid heightened investor scrutiny of the overall Sony Pictures Entertainment operation.
Sony Pictures TV at present is having a strong season with the success of NBC drama “The Blacklist,” Showtime’s “Masters of Sex” and the solid critical reception for ABC comedy “The Goldbergs.” On the unscripted side, “Shark Tank” has enjoyed a resurgence on ABC.
Erlicht and Van Amburg were named Sony’s U.S. programming and production chiefs in 2005. The two worked their way up the creative ranks at Sony Pictures TV’s predecessor, Columbia TriStar TV.