Sony TV Co-President Chris Parnell Departs for Apple

He'll reunite with former studio chiefs Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht at the tech giant.
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Chris Parnell is leaving Sony Pictures Television for a top programming job at Apple.

The SPT co-president had been with the indie studio for 16 years and will now reunite with former chiefs-turned-Apple heads of video Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht at the tech giant. In his new senior programming role on the domestic development team, the well-respected exec will report to Matt Cherniss, Apple’s head of scripted development and current programming, and be responsible for expanding Apple's slate of original series.

Parnell, during his time as co-president at Sony TV alongside Jason Clodfelter, guided creative aspects of the studio's domestic TV business. During his 16 years with Sony, he developed hits including Outlander, The Blacklist, The Boys, Preacher and Amazon's highly anticipated take on Wheel of Time. He also developed Ron Moore's space drama For All Mankind, which was one of four original series that helped launch Apple into scripted originals. The space drama was quickly renewed for a second season. 

Parnell's departure will leave Clodfelter as Sony's co-president of Sony Pictures Television Studios, overseeing domestic projects as well as its banners including the newly launched TriStar TV. He will continue to report to Sony Pictures Television Studios president Jeff Frost. Frost announced Parnell's departure in a memo to staff. (Read that below.)

Parnell arrives at Apple as indie studio Sony TV continues to face an uphill battle in a climate in which media conglomerates prioritize ownership over licensing deals. Sony TV also divested its streamer, Crackle, which is now majority owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul. 

Good Morning,

 
I’m writing to share some important news about our leadership team at Sony Pictures Television. 
 
Co-President of SPT Studios, Chris Parnell, will be leaving the company later this month to take on a creative role at Apple TV. Chris has been a tremendous partner, leader, collaborator and friend during his more than 16-year tenure at the studio. He will be greatly missed. We have multiple projects with Apple and we look forward to working with him closely in his new capacity.
 
I want to personally thank Chris for the contributions he’s made to the studio over the years. He has been an innovator and champion of bold new ideas, committed to finding and shining the spotlight on fresh voices and has never shied away from stories that pushed the boundaries. Over the course of his time at SPT he’s been instrumental in developing some of the studio’s most prolific and iconic series such as Outlander, The Blacklist, Preacher, Breaking Bad and The Boys.
 
Following Chris’ departure, Jason Clodfelter will continue in his role, serving as co-President, SPT Studios. He will oversee the studio’s U.S. drama and comedy development, U.S. scripted and current programming, movies and miniseries, talent and casting, as well as TriStar Television, Affirm Television and Gemstone Studios. SPT Studios unscripted business and our physical production unit will now report to me.
 
Please join me in wishing Chris continued success as he embarks on the next chapter in his career. If you have any questions, please reach out to me or your respective P&O partners.
 
Jeff