×

Longtime Leaders Zack Van Amburg, Jamie Erlicht Exit Sony Pictures Television

Sony Pictures Television presidents Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are exiting the company, Variety has learned.

The two executives will leave Sony later this summer to pursue a new project. No replacement has yet been named. It’s unclear if Sony has an internal successor ready to take the helm of the production unit that is crucial to the studio’s bottom line.

Both Van Amburg and Erlicht are said to be out of the country on vacation this week.

Van Amburg and Erlicht, Sony veterans who have worked in tandem for years, exit the company one year after the departure of longtime television chief Steve Mosko. Van Amburg and Erlicht took over responsibility for all of Sony’s U.S. television production after Mosko’s departure, reporting directly to then-Sony Pictures Entertainment head Michael Lynton. The executives had served as co-presidents of U.S. programming and production since 2005.

Van Amburg and Erlicht are credited with building a roster of creative talent at the studio, including showrunners Vince Gilligan (“Better Call Saul,” “Breaking Bad”), Ronald Moore (“Outlander”), Shawn Ryan and David Shore, among others. They last renewed their contracts in 2014, believed to be a three-year deal at the time.

The pair have deftly grown Sony TV’s portfolio of shows by branching out into streaming series (Netflix’s “The Crown,” Amazon’s “Sneaky Pete”) and international productions such as the upcoming Channel 4 series “Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams,” which will air in the U.S. on Amazon.

Van Amburg and Erlicht are well regarded for managing a mix of prestige shows and broadcast series such as CBS’ new action-drama “SWAT” and comedy “Kevin Can Wait” and the ABC sitcom “The Goldbergs.” Sony TV’s new broadcast series for the 2017-18 season include ABC comedy “Alex Inc.” and ABC drama “The Good Doctor.”

Unlike its largest competitors, Sony TV does not have the advantage of a vertically integrated broadcast network in the same corporate family, which makes the job of selling and maintaining shows tough in an environment where networks are increasingly focused on content ownership.

In recent years, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s profits have overwhelmingly been fueled by success on the television side, in contrast to red ink from the film division.

Van Amburg and Erlicht worked their way up the creative ranks since joining Sony Pictures TV’s predecessor, Columbia TriStar TV. Van Amburg has been with the studio since 1997 while Erlicht joined in 2002.

Van Amburg and Erlicht’s departure was announced Thursday in a memo from newly appointed Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Tony Vinciquerra, who joined the company last month to replace Lynton.

Read Vinciquerra’s memo below:

Good afternoon:

I want to make you all aware that Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht will be leaving Sony Pictures Television later this summer to begin a new chapter in their extraordinary careers.

Zack and Jamie have been instrumental in the growth of Sony Pictures Television over the last several years – particularly over the last year as they took on a greater leadership role alongside Keith Le Goy, President of Distribution; Amy Carney, President, Advertiser Sales, Strategy & Research; and Andy Kaplan, President of Worldwide Networks.

Until a replacement is named for Zack and Jamie, I will be working closely with our existing leadership team to ensure a seamless transition.

I want to wish Zack and Jamie all the best. While we are sad to see them go, we are excited by the opportunity to work with them as partners in the future.

Tony

More TV

  • Beau Willimon Hulu The First

    Beau Willimon, Katie Cappiello to Produce 'Slut' Series Adaptation at Netflix

    Playwright Katie Cappiello is teaming with “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon to bring an adaptation of her 2013 play “Slut” to the small screen. The show, titled “Grand Army,” is set up at Netflix with Odessa A’zion set to lead the cast. “Grand Army” follows five students at the largest public high school in [...]

  • How 'Catherine the Great,' 'Chernobyl' Challenge

    How 'Catherine the Great,' 'Chernobyl' Challenge the Hollywood Script on Russia

    Hollywood loves a good baddie, and for the last 50 or so years, a large proportion of those villains have been Russian. Take Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who killed Apollo Creed in the ring in “Rocky IV,” or Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman), who hijacked the President’s plane in “Air Force One,” or more recently the [...]

  • HBO Max Orders 'Crazy Rich Asians'-Style

    HBO Max Orders 'Crazy Rich Asians'-Style Docuseries 'The Ho's'

    HBO Max is continuing its content push with an order for a “Crazy Rich Asians” inspired docuseries. Titled “The Ho’s,” the eight-episode half-hour series hails from Lionsgate TV and plunges viewers into the over-the-top world of the Ho’s, a Vietnamese immigrant family who built a multi-million dollar bank, a real estate development company and a [...]

  • Fox Corp Names AMC's Yoel Flohr

    Fox Corp Names AMC's Yoel Flohr Executive VP of Technology, Digital

    Fox Corporation has hired Yoel Flohr as executive vice president of technology and digital, Variety has learned He will report to Fox Corporation chief technology officer and president of digital Paul Cheesbrough. In his new role, Flohr will lead the digital product portfolio for Fox Entertainment, overseeing existing digital products and relationships, including Fox Now. [...]

  • Monica Lewinsky

    Monica Lewinsky to Produce Documentary ‘15 Minutes of Shame’ for HBO Max

    Monica Lewinsky has teamed with “Catfish” co-host and producer Max Joseph to produce “15 Minutes of Shame,” a documentary for HBO Max about the culture of public shaming. “15 Minutes of Shame” is described as a look at people from around the world who have been caught up in a situation that involved public criticism [...]

  • 'Riverdale' Team Sets Drama Pilot at

    'Riverdale' Team Sets Drama Pilot at HBO Max

    “Riverdale” Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and two of the show’s writers have set up the drama “The Shelley Society” at HBO Max with a pilot order, Variety has confirmed. The project follows a young Mary Shelley and a band of her fellow Romantics, including Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, as they battle supernatural threats, including the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content