Amazon have gone through significant changes in their TV department over the past few months. Having intended to find the next Game Of Thrones by aiming for huge spectacle series, and presumably found it in The Lord Of The Rings, the company may now change its previously chief strategy that was intended to find their next series.
Amazon Pilots – in which Amazon have ordered the pilot of a potential show and made that sole episode available to anyone on their site, and asked viewers for feedback on whether they would want to see a full series of the show – may be about to fall by the wayside.
Although the strategy has brought shows like The Tick, Jean-Claude Van Johnson and, debuting this week, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to full series orders, and has seemed a good move to truly find if fans are responsive to a series idea, Deadline now reports that Amazon is considering abandoning the process.
“I hear there is discussion about not putting the pilots up on Prime Video, with a call on a series pickup made by Amazon executives the way other networks do it — based on testing and research. No final decision has been made, but I hear that ending Amazon’s traditional pilot season is a real possibility”, Deadline reports.
Former Amazon Studios boss Roy Price had noted prior to his resignation that the competitive TV environment had already diminished their ability to wait for significant audience feedback on shows.
While a number of Amazon shows, including the aforementioned Lord Of The Rings as well as Jack Ryan and Carnival Row have already bypassed the pilot process, the pilot series has also helped develop shows like the Glenn Close zombie comedy Sea Oak and the Diarra Kilpatrick comedy The Climb into full series.
While it’s understandable that the current TV climate is incredibly competitive, Amazon arguably had a certain edge over other networks and streaming services by allowing viewers to have direct input into what series they commission. If Amazon decides to go to the traditional route of executives and testing research, it’ll almost definitely produce a worse collection of shows.
The final decision has yet to be made, so ironically, it might take audience responses to Amazon’s potential decision to change their mind and force their hand into keeping Amazon Pilots alive. We will wait and see.