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Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke. Photo by AP

Inside Amazon’s Struggles to Make its Mark in Hollywood

By and  |  July 25, 2019 7:01 AM PDT
Photo: Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke. Photo by AP

Earlier this year, two senior executives in Amazon’s TV business, Vernon Sanders and Albert Cheng, gathered the division’s top television staffers and delivered some difficult news: Amazon Studios had committed most of its budget for 2019, and no new projects could start unless existing projects were delayed or canceled, according to two people with knowledge of the meeting.

As a result, Amazon has scrapped or delayed numerous TV shows or movies, including three young adult TV pilots studio chief Jennifer Salke ordered in 2018. Amazon also told the producers of “I’m Your Woman”—starring Rachel Brosnahan, the lead actress of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”—that they weren't going to make the film, though it recently reversed that decision.

Current and former studio employees say the budget crunch was caused by Ms. Salke going on a spending spree last year, ordering projects such as two seasons of horror series “Them.” Amazon also spent millions of dollars reshooting parts of the coming series “Carnival Row” and striking expensive deals with talent.

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