In the wake of MGM television head Mark Burnett exiting the studio and Amazon on Monday, Amazon is re-organizing MGM’s TV division: folding its Orion Television label into the larger scripted side of MGM and axing the label just two years after it relaunched.
Amazon’s TV chief Vernon Sanders announced the news to staff on Tuesday in a memo obtained by IndieWire, adding that Orion TV head Bradley Gardner is exiting. Gardner is negotiating a producing deal at MGM TV.
The re-launched Orion Television was behind the rebooted “Teen Wolf: The Movie,” which is expected to stream on Paramount+ next year. Gardner came over to lead the division from Paramount Network and focused on comedy and drama series for the label.
As part of the re-organization, Amazon is tapping Rola Bauer, former president of international TV for MGM, to head pan-English scripted SVOD TV and Lindsay Sloane, former senior EVP of MGM Scripted TV, to lead U.S. scripted television. Bauer will develop a slate of English-language originals for Prime Video. Sloane, who was among the talents behind “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Fargo,” and “Wednesday” — which just set a viewership record in its first week on Netflix — will develop projects for Amazon Studios and continue to take series to external markets.
All this comes eight months after Amazon completed its acquisition of MGM. The tech company is combining the workforces at the executive levels from both companies.
Read the full memo from Sanders below.
Further to my note on November 7th, I am thrilled to be able to announce two teams that will be an integral part of our US/Global TV Creative Development organization through which we will cultivate five specialized pipelines of original content. Following the close of the MGM deal earlier this year, we are fortunate to welcome two well-established leaders into the fold to bolster and expand on our broad slate of original television shows for our global customers.
Rola Bauer, former President of International TV for MGM, will expand her responsibilities as our new Head of Pan-English Scripted SVOD TV, Development & Series. In this new role, she will oversee the development and production of a new slate of English language originals for Prime Video. Rola brings a wealth of experience on scripted series for international markets around the world and we are excited for her to deliver original content, for our global customers, that travels across multiple countries. At our core, we all know great content can come from anywhere which is why we will continue to work with talent to produce more English language shows outside of the U.S. Rola’s new remit will be distinct from the expansive Local Original Series & Movie content developed under James Farrell’s division.
Lindsay Sloane, former Sr. EVP of MGM Scripted TV, will join our team to lead US scripted television for MGM. She has been responsible for developing and selling new projects on behalf of MGM and has overseen the development and production of the acclaimed series, The Handmaid’s Tale. In addition, the team she oversees has developed and produced renowned series such as Fargo, Vikings: Vahalla, and the recently launched coming-of-age horror comedy Wednesday, which is already topping the charts on Netflix. As the new Head of MGM US Scripted TV, Lindsay and her team will develop projects for Amazon Studios, as well as continue to take projects to the external market.
As part of this reorganization, MGM US Scripted TV will absorb the scope and projects of Orion Television. We are in discussions with Bradley Gardner to join us in a producing deal at MGM TV. I would like to thank the Orion TV team for all of their work and dedication over the past year.
Combining the storied history of the MGM brand with the work we have only just begun at Amazon Studios, we will produce an abundance of the highest quality of storytelling for our growing global audience. Lindsay and Rola will report to me along with Lauren Anderson, Laura Lancaster, and Nick Pepper to complete our world class team of US/Global TV Operations. We look forward to continuing to work with the best creators and talent in the business around the world to delight our ever-expanding customer base.
Please join me in welcoming Lindsay, Rola and their teams to our Amazon Studios TV Family.