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Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht are staying put at Sony Pictures TV.
The pair has inked new deals to remain with the prolific studio as presidents of programming and production. The news comes after a strong year, with a portfolio of 30 series, including NBC breakout The Blacklist, ABC reality hit Shark Tank and AMC’s since-departed Emmy winner Breaking Bad and its forthcoming spinoff Better Call Saul.
Their recent gains have been so pronounced that Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton told investors in November that the company would shift its emphasis from film to “higher-margin television.” Thus far this season, the Sony TV programming presidents, who report to Sony’s Steve Mosko, have nabbed five straight-to-series orders, including a KZK drama starring Kyle Chandler at Netflix and a David Shore-Vince Gilligan creation, Battle Creek, at CBS. More recently, the studio landed a first-of-its-kind order for its long-gestating series Powers at sibling PlayStation.
In an environment where owning fare is increasingly important, Van Amburg and Erlicht have been particularly aggressive about locking up talent, too. “We absolutely compete in a world where most of our major competitors have far more financial resources, but they don’t have more clarity of purpose,” Erlicht said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter late last year. “We’re driven by one thing: quality television shows that stand the test of time and then, theoretically, will be worth a lot of money to the studio and the profit participants.” Among those with overall deals at Sony: Gilligan, Shore, Ron Moore, Will Gluck and Shawn Ryan.
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Thomas Brodie Sangster