Amazon has yet to decide the fate of Epix, MGM’s premium cable channel, which has stepped up its original series production in recent years. Meanwhile, Mark Burnett, head of MGM Television, will earn hundreds of millions of dollars in the deal as part of a small stake he owns. MGM Television acquired Burnett's programs, including Survivor and The Apprentice. As Deadline notes, Amazon has struggled with its unscripted programming and MGM's library could offer a big boost. But would Burnett want to stick around? "The big question is whether Burnett, who also famously produced The Apprentice as well as shows such as Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?, would want to join the tech company, whose TV and film studio is run by Jennifer Salke," says Deadline's Peter White. "So far, indications are that the former British paratrooper may leave after the transaction vs. staying on to try and turn around Amazon’s unscripted fortunes." As Variety's Cynthia Littleton notes, "Burnett has been an unconventional leader for MGM. He’s an active producer on a number of high-profile productions which means he rarely keeps regular office hours. He’s also well-known as an entrepreneur who is always in the hunt for deals, IP and partnerships."
TOPICS: Mark Burnett, Amazon Prime Video, MGM, MGM Television