Conrad Riggs is out as head of unscripted at Amazon Studios, Variety has confirmed. His departure continues the house cleaning at Amazon Studios that began with the suspension last week of former president Roy Price and his subsequent departure.
Riggs, a former producer on “Survivor,” helped Amazon lure former “Top Gear” host Jeremy Clarkson to the streaming service in a lucrative deal. But the resulting series, “The Grand Tour,” has not generated the buzz that its predecessor, one of the most watched television programs in the world, did. Other Amazon unscripted efforts such as documentary series “American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story” and food show “Eat the World With Emeril Lagasse” have failed generate significant buzz. Multiple producers and agents told Variety in recent days that Riggs, who joined Amazon in 2014, appeared likely to depart in the wake of Price’s exit.
Price was suspended by Amazon on Oct. 12 amid allegations of sexual harassment against him by Isa Hackett, an executive producer on the company’s original drama series “The Man in the High Castle.” He was replaced on an interim basis by Albert Cheng, a well-regarded former digital exec at ABC who has served for the last two years as COO of Amazon Studios. Price resigned from Amazon five days later.
On Monday, Price’s top scripted lieutenant, comedy and drama head Joe Lewis, departed Amazon. Lewis had seen his power wane in recent months as resources began to shift toward a new event-series unit headed by former Fox international executive Sharon Tal Yguado. On Friday Variety first reported that Lewis had been the subject of an internal investigation into his behavior toward women conducted by the same firm that had conducted a similar inquiry into harassment allegations against Price. Tal Yguado on Tuesday was named head of all scripted series at Amazon, reporting to Cheng.