Robert Kirkman Leaves AMC for Amazon
The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman will be leaving AMC with his production company Skybound Entertainment for an exclusive two year deal with Amazon Studios. The exclusivity deal means that all future content created by Skybound will air only on Amazon Prime. This deal is not retroactive, which means that it will not affect the production of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Both horror TV series were originally created by Skybound Entertainment and they have only aired on AMC.
This is a blow to AMC who has profited mightily from Robert Kirkman, his creative genius, and his production company’s products. I am was surprised that AMC would let their golden goose go without a substantial financial and creative license fight, matching Amazon penny for penny and artistic freedom for artistic freedom. Perhaps they did but the parameters of Amazon first-look deal were too great an opportunity. Perhaps it was Amazon’s platform itself, absolutely no content restrictions – like Netflix, that was so attractive to Kirkman and his team.
I am very surprised that Netflix didn’t get wind of the brewing Amazon / Kirkman deal and tender an offer of their own. Amazon probably asked for secrecy during their negotiations with Kirkman, a constraint that Kirkman followed.
Kirkman’s official statement about his new deal with Amazon:
At Skybound Entertainment we strive to tell the best stories in the most unique and creative ways in an effort to always break new ground. A forward-thinking company like Amazon is the perfect home for us. Their new foray into genre fiction has us at peak optimism for what can be accomplished during this unprecedented partnership. Sharon Tal Yguado has been an instrumental force in the success of Walking Dead and Outcast from Day 1. Being able to not only continue that relationship, but also expand it into new territory with the vast resources of Amazon, means great things are ahead for myself, David Alpert, Skybound and fans of awesome entertainment. Look out world, here we come!”
Sharon Tal Yguado helped to turn Outcast into a TV series long before the comic book series hit the shelves. Yguado also supervised the global unveiling of The Walking Dead during its first season when director Frank Darabont was behind-the-scenes of the series.
Tal Yguado joined Amazon in January as head of event series with a focus on science fiction, action, fantasy and horror series. She reports directly to Amazon head of originals Roy Price.
Teaming Kirkman and Tal Yguado was a natural fit.
Now Amazon has its conductor, there Leopold Stokowski. Now they need the song that everyone wants to listen to.
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