Do you think the heads of the broadcast television channels are shaking in their boots at this point over the incredible threat that streaming services have become when it comes to programming? If not, they should be. Netflix and Hulu have already shown they can create sustainable series that people want to watch, and Amazon is moving into that territory right along with them.
Jenkins, who won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Picture with his film Moonlight, was already on board to direct all 11 episodes of the Amazon Studios limited series The Underground Railroad—based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name.
The new deal with Amazon will be for Jenkins to develop television series for Amazon Prime Video.
Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said “Barry is clearly a master of groundbreaking, authentically emotional storytelling and we are so proud to have him share that gift with us. We are incredibly fortunate to have also secured his directorial vision for the entire limited series The Underground Railroad.”
Jenkins said “We at Pastel are excited to continue our Amazon relationship begun on Underground Railroad and look forward to growing that partnership on projects near and beyond.”
Pastel is the production company Jenkins founded with Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy and Mark Ceryak. The company is executive producing The Underground Railroad along with Brad Pitt’s Plan B.
Jenkins was the first black filmmaker in Oscar history to be nominated for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture for Moonlight. His next feature, If Beale Street Could Talk, received critical acclaim when it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year. Based on the novel by James Baldwin, the film will open in theaters later this month.