Longtime NBC executive Vernon Sanders will reunite with his former colleague Jennifer Salke at Amazon Studios. Salke has tapped Sanders as co-head of television, where he’ll partner with TV co-head Albert Cheng and oversee Amazon Prime Video’s TV creative and production units.
Sanders, who had recently transitioned into a producing deal with Universal TV, will report to Salke, the Amazon Studios head who joined the company in February. “Vernon’s undeniable expertise in nurturing talent and creative material will be a huge asset to our studio,” she 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.”
Before becoming a producer, Sanders held a variety of roles handling NBC’s scripted slate, including executive vice president of current programming, executive vice president of comedy programming, and senior vice president of drama for the Peacock and Universal Television.
Among the shows Sanders worked on: “30 Rock,” “The Office,” “Friday Night Lights,” “This is Us,” “The Blacklist,” “The Good Place,” and the revival of “Will and Grace.” He has worked with producers including Tina Fey, J.J. Abrams, Dan Fogelman, Dick Wolf, Greg Berlanti, and Mike Schur.
In pairing Cheng and Sanders together, Salke is merging Cheng’s business background with Sanders’ creative chops. Salke was said to have been looking to emulate the successful partnership between her former 20th Century Fox TV bosses, Gary Newman and Dana Walden, who have made their business/creative strength work as partners since 1999.
Sanders’ arrival completes Salke’s overhaul of Amazon Studios’ TV structure. Earlier, Sharon Tal Yguado was confirmed to focus on genre, with Marc Resteghini as head of drama, Gina Kwon and Ryan Andolina as co-heads of comedy, Nick Hall as head of alternative, Georgia Brown as head of UK scripted TV, Heather Schuster as head of unscripted and Melissa Wolfe as head of kids programming.