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Another domino has fallen at Amazon. The latest member of the originals team to depart is Conrad Riggs, who ran the streamer’s not terribly prolific unscripted operation.
The exit of Riggs, who joined Amazon in 2014 after a long tenure as a reality producer, follows the resignation of programming chief Roy Price (who is facing allegations of sexual harassment) and Monday’s departure of development head Joe Lewis (his leave comes with a producing deal at Amazon Studios). Previously, international topper Morgan Wandell signed on to serve in the same capacity at Apple.
Riggs made a name for himself as onetime producing partner of reality rainmaker Mark Burnett. During his time with Burnett he served as a producer on both The Apprentice and Survivor, where he still holds a co-executive producer credit. Their partnership ended in a lawsuit, settled in 2012, though Riggs’ Cloudbreak Entertainment filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy three years later. Riggs, a friend of Price’s, also spent some time at the Walt Disney Company early in his career.
In the wake of all the Amazon turnover, Sharon Tal Yguado is taking over as head all of scripted for Amazon while Amazon Studios chief operating officer Albert Cheng assumes Price’s duties on an interim basis. It’s not immediately clear who will fill the unscripted void.
Amazon’s first big swing in the unscripted space was The New Yorker Presents, which lasted one season. There has been more success in the sporting space. Amazon scored something of coup, albeit a controversial one, when it reassembled the team of British hit Top Gear for The Grand Tour. Skipping the streamer’s pilot process, it premiered in 2016 and is already renewed through a third season. Another series that has broken through, at least with an Emmy nomination, is All or Nothing — Amazon’s spin on HBO football docudrama Hard Knocks.
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