News of Schuster’s ascent amid the broader shakeup at Amazon Studios was first reported by Deadline. The veteran reality producer and alum of Ryan Seacrest Productions joined Amazon earlier this year.
Amazon has fielded only a handful of unscripted series over the past four years since revving up its original content strategy. The company made a big global bet on “The Grand Tour,” the travelogue and automotive show reuniting the “Top Gear” team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.
The shuffle in unscripted follows the forced resignation last week of longtime Amazon Studios president Roy Price and the ouster of Joe Lewis, who ran comedy and drama for the service. The shakeup has been sparked by allegations of sexual harassment against Price and unethical behavior against Lewis.
Amazon Studios COO Albert Cheng, who was tapped as interim head following Price’s hasty exit, and Amazon bosses are said to be taking their time in considering options for the top scripted programming executive. Sharon Tal Yguado, who was previously assigned to develop event series, has taken over scripted development but Amazon is still expected to make a high-level hire. The guessing game as to who is on the short list has become a sport during the past few days.
Schuster brings to Amazon a long resume as a producer, most notably of Bravo’s “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.” Schuster spent a year with Ryan Seacrest Productions, and then launched her own shingle with All3Media before moving to Amazon.
Tracey Lentz, who had been one of Riggs’ lead creative team members, has been appointed head of creative, reporting to Schuster. A former VP of unscripted at AMC, Lentz developed shows at Amazon including “All or Nothing” and “Lore.”
(Pictured: “The Grand Tour”)