Amazon’s Joe Lewis Adds Drama Oversight, Morgan Wandell to Head International Production

Daniel Holloway

Amazon Studios has shuffled responsibilities in its development team, expanding comedy chief Joe Lewis’ plate to include drama development. Morgan Wandell, who previously ran drama development, will now oversee international productions.

As head of half-hour development for Amazon, Lewis has shepherded Amazon’s most high-profile original series, including Emmy- and Golden Globe-winner “Transparent” and Golden Globe winner “Mozart in the Jungle,” as well as critically acclaimed shows such as “One Mississippi.”

Amazon has yet to introduce a breakout hour-long show, however. The service has claimed that dramas “Bosch and “The Man in the High Castle” are among its most watched original series. The former was renewed Monday for a fourth season, but has generated little of the buzz that Amazon’s half-hour series have garnered. The second season of “The Man in the High Castle” is set to premiere Dec. 16, but questions have surrounded the production of season two since executive producer and showrunner Frank Spotnitz left the series in May. No showrunner has since been identified. “No one would choose to build the show this way, and going forward, we’re going to figure out how we can best realize this show,” executive producer David Zucker said at the Television Critics Association press tour in August.

Lewis joined Amazon Studios in 2012 as head of comedy, having previously served as CEO of the streaming-video startup Bark. He previously held roles as director of production at 20th Century Fox, and manager of development at Comedy Central.

In his new role, Wandell will oversee development on international co-productions such as “Catastrophe,” “Fleabag,” and “Britannia.” Wandell joined Amazon in 2013 from ABC Studios, where he had served as head of drama. Both Wandell and Lewis will continue to report to Amazon Studios head Roy Price.

Amazon also announced that its movie division has been renamed Prime Movies, with Jason Ropell, worldwide head of motion picture, continuing to oversee movies. VP of television content acquisition Brad Beale has expanded his purview to include global selection of series for individual countries and licensing television content.

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