Conrad Riggs, the co-creator of hit reality TV shows such as “Survivor” and “The Apprentice,” has joined Amazon.com as part of a big video content push by the Seattle company, reports TechCrunch. The hire, confirmed by Amazon, could signal the company’s desire to bolster its video service as it competes with Netflix to achieve a breakout success along the lines of “House of Cards.”
It’s unclear what Riggs is working on, though his experience in reality TV could signal that Amazon is interested in creating a new show in the genre.
Amazon has launched two comedies – “Alpha House” and “Betas” – and is slated to debut new shows this fall. In an interview with Hollywood Reporter earlier this week, Amazon Studios head Roy Price explained how the company is approaching new shows, and the people who produce them.
“We give the shows the resources they need to be great,” he said. “And Amazon can reach out to the audience. For a show like Transparent, there is an audience out there that we can speak to and reach out to [via Amazon]. One other factor is that shows at Amazon don’t get canceled. There’s no scenario where you create three episodes and then we cancel your show. You’re going be able to follow through and do the whole season as planned.”
Amazon recently partnered with Super Why! and Blue’s Clues creator Angela Santomero on a new kids show called Creative Galaxy, telling GeekWire that the partnership “opens the door to so many more possibilities for kids.”
Riggs could help Amazon break into reality TV, just as Santomero is doing with kids programming.
In 2008, Riggs sued business partner and TV producer Mark Burnett, claiming he was owed $70 million as part of a 10 percent cut from profits on shows developed by Mark Burnett Productions. The case was settled in 2012, though other legal disputes arose related to Survivor.