Lena Waithe has effectively jumped ship with Amazon Studios, effectively ending her relationship with Showtime in the process. Already boasting a show deal to create a horror anthology series titled THEM, Waithe’s new commitment with Amazon covers the expanse of 2-years. It’s what the entertainment industry defines as a first-look deal.
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“Lena is a powerhouse writer and producer who also has a gift for identifying exciting and authentic voices,” said Jennifer Salke of Amazon’s talent acquisition of Lena Waithe. Salke figures as the head of Amazon Studios.
“Our upcoming series THEM is the result of her rare ability to cultivate brilliant voices like Little Marvin and bring his wholly original and compelling vision to Amazon,” Salke added. “We look forward to collaborating with Lena and her team for years to come.”
Although Waithe has been absorbed under the Amazon banner for the next two years, she will continue to publish material with her creative partner Rishi Rajani under the Waithe Hillman Grad imprint the pair founded some years ago. Amazon extended its contract to Waithe for THEM, one year ago, under the pretenses of a one-time arrangement.
Evidently, Waithe has done enough to warrant a far greater commitment than previously advertised. Waithe Hillman Grad is still on the books for deals with Showtime and HBO, although Lena figures to be less involved in the former.