×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon Reorganizes Series-Development Team Under Jennifer Salke, Names Albert Cheng Co-Head of TV

Jennifer Salke has begun to make her mark on Amazon Studios.

The new head of Amazon’s entertainment division has shaken up her series-development team, naming Albert Cheng co-head of television. The move secures a prominent role for Cheng, who led Amazon Studios as interim chief following the ouster last year of former top executive Roy Price amid sexual-harassment allegations. Cheng, a former ABC digital exec, had previously served as COO of Amazon’s entertainment division, a role he will continue in going forward.

Sources tell Variety that Salke is in the early stages of recruiting a veteran executive to work with Cheng as co-head of television, but that no lead candidate has been identified. Cheng and his fellow TV co-head will be responsible for the day-to-day oversight of the business, creative and production units.

“I’m delighted that an opportunity for Albert to be elevated within the Television Studios has been created,” said Salke. “His business acumen, collaborative nature and clear goals toward continued success make him an invaluable team player as we move forward.”

Amazon has also set the series development team operating under Cheng, which was shaken up last year by multiple executive departures ahead of and following Price’s exit. Sharon Tal Yguado, who had been named head of scripted development in the wake of Joe Lewis’ exit, will serve in the new structure as head of genre series. She will focus on the development of science fiction, fantasy and supernatural-oriented series — a high priority for Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who became personally involved last year in a more-than-$200 million deal to land the series rights for J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings.”

Marc Resteghini will serve as head of drama, focusing on non-genre hour-long series. Gina Kwon and Ryan Andolina will serve as co-heads of comedy. Nick Hall will be head of alternative programming, including young-adult and specialty series. Georgia Brown will lead U.K. and Europe-originated scripted TV.

Melissa Wolfe remains head of kids programming. Heather Schuster remains head of unscripted.

Salke, formerly president of NBC entertainment, joined Amazon in February, following a lengthy executive search that focused on female candidates. She has since moved quickly to implement changes. On Sunday, Amazon canceled one of its signature series, “Mozart in the Jungle” — a winner of multiple Golden Globe and Emmy awards, but a show that matches poorly with Bezos’ mandate to shift Amazon away from niche programming and toward large-scale projects with the potential for broad appeal.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Judith Light'Transparent' TV show Musical Finale,

    'Transparent' Team Talks 'Transformative Energy' of Trans Community

    As Amazon Prime Video prepares to send off “Transparent” with a musical finale movie on Sept. 27, the cast and creative team behind the show are hoping the impact of a character such as Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor) will not be overshadowed by the controversy that the actor who portrayed Maura caused. “I believe that [...]

  • Cherry Jones

    Cherry Jones Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actress Emmy

    Cherry Jones won the 2019 guest drama actress Emmy for her work as the titular character’s mother, Holly Osborne, in Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” This was Jones’ second consecutive nomination for the role but first win. Interestingly, both noms were for her work in the second season of the dystopian streaming series. After a few [...]

  • Jane Lynch, Cyndi Lauper Developing 'Golden

    Jane Lynch, Cyndi Lauper Developing 'Golden Girls'-Style Comedy for Netflix

    Jane Lynch and Cyndi Lauper just wanna have fun. The comedian and the 1980s music icon have joined forces to star in a new comedy project that may be heading to Netflix. Lynch let it slip backstage at the Creative Arts Emmys that she and Lauper will co-star in a comedy that she described as [...]

  • Luke Kirby71st Annual Primetime Creative Arts

    Luke Kirby Wins 2019 Guest Comedy Actor Emmy

    Luke Kirby has been crowned the winner of the 2019 guest comedy actor Emmy for his role as the real-life comic Lenny Bruce on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This was Kirby’s first-ever Emmy attention. He was nominated against a slew of “Saturday Night Live” players (Robert De Niro, John Mulaney and Adam [...]

  • Bradley Whitford photographed at the PMC

    Bradley Whitford Wins 2019 Guest Drama Actor Emmy

    Bradley Whitford won the 2019 guest drama actor Emmy for his role of Commander Joseph Lawrence on Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Whitford joined the cast of the streaming dystopian series at the end of its second season, in episodes that were released after the close of the 2018 Emmy eligibility window. The Television Academy agreed [...]

  • TV Review: 'Transparent' Series Finale

    TV Review: 'Transparent' Series Finale

    Amazon’s “Transparent” will have a chapter, or a section of one, in some to-be-written history of television, in part thanks to how brazen and how daring its ideas were for its moment. Some of those were ideas that came to seem simply logical in retrospect: The show was a pathbreaker for trans representation onscreen, casting [...]

  • Jane Lynch NBC Relatively Happy

    Jane Lynch Wins 2019 Guest Comedy Actress Emmy

    Jane Lynch has been crowned the winner of the 2019 guest comedy actress Emmy for her role of comic Sophie Lennon on Amazon Prime Video’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” This was Lynch’s second consecutive nomination for the role but first win. However, it is her fifth Emmy overall, after winning a short form statue in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content