Amazon Studios is building out its TV executive arsenal, with the addition of NBC veteran Vernon Sanders, bringing implications for its battle against network TV and other streaming services. According to a report from Variety today, Sanders is credited with working on a number of NBC hits, including This Is Us, the revival of Will & Grace, The Good Place, The Blacklist, 30 Rock, The Office and Friday Night Lights as Executive Vice President of Current Programming and Executive Vice President of Comedy. At Amazon, Sanders will hold the title of Co-Head of Television, where he’ll be charged with overseeing creative and production units for Amazon Prime Video.
Variety noted that before Sanders’ appointment, Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said it was looking for an executive with creativity to fill the role.
Sanders will partner with Co-Head of Television and COO of Amazon Studios Albert Cheng.
“Vernon’s undeniable expertise in nurturing talent and creative material will be a huge asset to our studio,” Salke said. “Having worked side-by-side with him for seven years at NBC Entertainment, I can speak first-hand to his talents as a leader and creative force. I know Vernon and Albert Cheng will be a formidable team as we continue to build Amazon Studios.”
In addition to his comedy and programming expertise, Sanders also has experience as Senior Vice President of Drama at Universal Television network and studio.
“I am tremendously excited to be joining Jennifer Salke, Albert Cheng and the forward-thinking team at Amazon Studios as they build an incredible destination for high-quality, compelling content,” Sanders said. “My time as a producer has reaffirmed my passion for working closely with creators to champion shows which delight and surprise our audiences. I’m grateful to my family at NBCU for their support as I jump into this new challenge.”
After leaving NBC for a production deal with Universal, Sanders was set to be Executive Producer of the reboot of Amazing Stories, a Steven Spielberg-created science fiction anthology series that ran on NBC from 1985 to 1987. However, Variety cited a source saying Sanders abandoned the post for this Amazon position.
Instead, Sanders will be focusing on Amazon Prime’s TV lineup, which includes Bosch (Season 4 recently started, and Season 5 is scheduled), The Man in the High Castle (for which fans are awaiting a Season 3 premiere date), The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (which Amazon renewed for Season 3 yesterday), The Tick (Season 2 will premiere next year) and the upcoming Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (starring The Office‘s and A Quiet Place movie maker John Krasinski).