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Apple hires Amazon’s Wandell

Apple has expanded its original programming team by appointing Amazon’s head of international productions.

Morgan Wandell

Morgan Wandell has been named head of international creative development at Apple, reporting to chief content officers Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht.

Wandell has been behind a slew of shows for Amazon including Man in the High Castle, forthcoming scripted series Carnival Row and Sneaky Pete, on which he worked with Van Amburg and Erlicht while they were at Sony.

Prior to overseeing international, Wandell had been head of drama for the streamer. Before that, he was senior VP of drama at ABC Studios, with credits on Ugly Betty and Criminal Minds, among others.

Apple’s appointment of Wandell, which comes soon after the exit of Amazon Studios chief Roy Price over sexual harassment allegations, is the latest effort from the world’s biggest company to expand its original programming.

The tech giant unveiled a US$1bn programming war chest in August and appointed Matt Cherniss, former president and general manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios, to expand its fledgling video division.

Cherniss has been drafted in to oversee development, joining ex-Sony Pictures Television execs Van Amburg and Erlicht who arrived earlier this summer.

The former Sony pair, who report to Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior VP of internet software and services, arrived at Apple shortly after the launch of its Will.i.am-fronted competition reality show Planet of the Apps, from Howard Owens and Ben Silverman’s Propagate Content.

Apple’s Carpool Karaoke series, which emerged from James Corden’s late-night talkshow on CBS, launched earlier this year.

Wandell’s exit from Amazon leaves the streamer with a void at the top of its senior management team, with a replacement for Price yet to be named.

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