×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Apple Raids Hulu, Legendary to Fill Business Affairs Posts on Content Team (EXCLUSIVE)

Apple has hired two business affairs execs — Philip Matthys from Hulu and Jennifer Wang Grazier from Legendary Entertainment — for key roles on its expanding original entertainment team, Variety has learned.

Matthys, previously Hulu’s head of business affairs, started last month at Apple as head of business affairs, Worldwide Video. He reports to Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, the former co-presidents of Sony Pictures Television, who joined Apple this summer to head up the tech giant’s push into original programming.

Wang Grazier will join Apple’s L.A.-based Worldwide Video group on the business affairs team, reporting to Matthys, starting in January.

Apple, reportedly prepped to spend upwards of $1 billion on original content in the next year, has been on a hiring tear under Van Amburg and Erlicht. Recent hires include Matt Cherniss, formerly president and GM of WGN America and Tribune Studios, as head of development; Amazon Studios exec Morgan Wandell, head of international development; and creative executive Michelle Lee, formerly producing partner to Jason Katims at Universal Television-based True Jack Productions.

Apple’s first two scripted series under the new leadership team are a revival of Steve Spielberg’s anthology series “Amazing Stories” and a morning talk-show drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Matthys joined Hulu in August 2015, overseeing dealmaking and policy for Hulu’s originals, including all scripted development deals, pilot and series production, original documentaries, international co-productions and specials. While at Hulu, he worked on series including “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Marvel’s Runaways,” “The Looming Tower,” and “The First,” starring Sean Penn and produced by Beau Willimon’s independent studio Westward Productions; and “Castle Rock” from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King.

Matthys’ departure from Hulu comes as some higher-level execs have left the ranks. Those include Mike Hopkins, who exited as CEO in October to join Sony Pictures Television; former CTO Tian Lim, who is now VP of product and user experience for Google Play; and Noah Heller, Hulu’s VP of virtual reality, who left last month to launch an early-stage technology venture capital firm.

Prior to Hulu, Matthys spent nearly 13 years with NBCUniversal, most recently as senior VP of business affairs for NBCU Cable Entertainment, leading business affairs for USA Network, Syfy and Universal Cable Prods. Before joining NBCU, he worked for law firm Irell & Manella, specializing in entertainment and intellectual property issues.

Wang Grazier previously served for two years as EVP, Business and Legal Affairs at Legendary where she oversaw all business and legal aspects relating to its TV and digital studios development, production, and distribution strategies. While at Legendary, she worked on series including “Colony” for USA, “Love” and “Lost in Space” for Netflix, “The Looming Tower” for Hulu, and “Carnival Row” for Amazon.

Before joining Legendary, Wang Grazier also was was at NBCU, as VP of business affairs, where she negotiated talent, co-production and license deals. She began her legal career at O’Melveny & Myers.

More Digital

  • Mueller Report Books Editions Top Amazon's

    Mueller Report Print Editions Shoot to Top of Best-Seller Lists at Amazon, Barnes & Noble

    Robert Mueller is now a best-selling author. Book publishers’ forthcoming editions of the special counsel’s report zoomed to the top of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Noble’s lists of book best-sellers Friday. That comes a day after the report was publicly released, culminating the nearly two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election [...]

  • Marques Brownlee - Retro Tech

    YouTube Orders Marques Brownlee 'Retro Tech' Original Series

    YouTube has turned to one of its homegrown stars — technology vlogger Marques Brownlee, aka “MKBHD” — for its newest original series. The video platform has greenlit series “Retro Tech” featuring Brownlee, in which he’ll unbox and review vintage technology products that have defined pop culture. The show, slated to debut in December 2019, follows [...]

  • Netflix Tests Random Episode Button in

    Netflix Starts Testing Random Episode Button

    Netflix is testing a button to play random episodes of select TV shows, the company confirmed Friday morning. “We are testing the ability for members to play a random episode from different TV series on the Android mobile app,” a Netflix spokesperson told Variety. “These tests typically vary in length of time and by region, [...]

  • Netflix Our Planet Sophie Darlington

    Netflix's 'Our Planet' Roars to Life With Work by Top Wildlife Cinematographers

    In terms of scope, production time and — very likely — budget, Netflix’s “Our Planet” is one of the most ambitious projects from the streaming service to date. Narrated by David Attenborough and made available worldwide on April 5, the goal of the eight-part series is to capture diverse habitats across the globe and highlight [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content