Sharon Tal Yguado Departing Amazon as Head of Genre

Brought in under Roy Price to oversee genre programming in a mandate from CEO Jeff Bezos, the executive wound up replacing Joe Lewis and heading drama and comedy as well before being relegated back to her original role under Jennifer Salke.
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Sharon Tal Yguado

After a two years on the job, Sharon Tal Yguado is leaving Amazon Studios.

Yguado was hired in January 2017 to oversee genre programming under former Amazon Studios head Roy Price in a direct mandate from CEO Jeff Bezos to find the streamer and retail giant its version of Game of Thrones. In the months that followed, Yguado — a former Fox International Studios exec who was key to the global launch of AMC's The Walking Dead — wound up heading genre, comedy and drama after Price and his comedy/drama exec Joe Lewis were ousted. She was then relegated back to her role as head of genre when NBC's Jennifer Salke was brought in as head of Amazon Studios to replace Price. Yguado's departure had been rumored for months. 

Yguado made the most of her time with the company. Under Price, she was the one who made the initial outreach to the J.R.R. Tolkien estate and was instrumental in securing global rights to a TV series based on Lord of the Rings in what sources say is a $250 million deal. Yguado was also instrumental in bringing The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman from AMC to Amazon with a sizable overall deal and landing Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg genre plays The Boys and Wheel of Time.

Sources say Yguado departed after creative differences with Salke. After landing Lord of the Rings, Yguado was charged with getting Amazon's massive investment up and running. The project, sources say, has had a writers room already under way under JD Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek 4), with all things LOTR having a massive layer of security around them. The effort is expected in 2020 or 2021. Amazon declined to comment. 

Yguado, who reported to COO Albert Cheng during the months-long search for a Price replacement when she oversaw originals, also cleaned house at Amazon to make way for high-profile genre and broader-skewing fare, canceling niche programming including Tig Notaro's One Mississippi and the Jill Soloway-produced I Love Dick while also passing on multiple half-hour pilots. Yguado's exit opens up another top job to fill for Salke, who has installed her own executive regime since taking over at the streamer. 

In addition to LOTR, Yguado also was instrumental in developing Kirkman's Invincible, Nathaniel Halpern's Tales From the Loop and the Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower, with former Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara, among other projects in development. Those include The Peripheral, from Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan, who recently signed a massive nine-figure overall deal with the streamer/retail giant.

“I have decided to leave Amazon Studios. I am so proud of what we have accomplished in record time. I enjoyed my time at Amazon and loved seeing this place grow and evolve. I am leaving with wonderful memories and I look forward to seeing the projects I cultivated come to life as an Amazon Prime subscriber and a lover of genre programming," Yguado said late Friday in a statement.