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While the world has changed around it, network television has
mostly stayed the same.
The most obvious evidence of this is the rise of streaming
services, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
These services have given viewers the opportunity to
“cut the cord” without missing out on
their favorite shows and movies.
The biggest way traditional TV and streaming services differ
is in their approach to creating original content. Getting a
new show off the ground has typically been a long and arduous
process., and the final decision has historically been made
by people far removed from the creative process.
When big networks like Fox or CBS reveal their new slate of shows
for the fall season, the product you see is the result of a
grueling review process. Hundreds of scripts are read and only a
fraction are refined, turned into pilots, aired, and eventually
picked up for a full season.
In contrast, many streaming services have taken a different route
when it comes to producing new content. Netflix has had success
rebooting successful shows that already had an
established audience (think “Gilmore Girls” and “Arrested
Development”). The most revolutionary approach in this space has
been taken by Amazon, which has made the
show creation process much more democratic.
The online retail giant is producing a number of different show
under a program it calls “pilot season.” Once the
shows are released, viewers will be able to give Amazon
direct feedback on whether or not they’d be interested in seeing
more of a certain pilot. Based on a show’s fan reaction, Amazon
will choose which shows to pick up for additional episodes.
This process gives Amazon a much better idea of
what its audience will enjoy before it invests a full
season’s worth of money into it, and so far, it’s been working.
Amazon originals like
“Mozart in the
Jungle“ have collected awards and critical
acclaim over the past few years.
Amazon’s latest pilot
season premiered on March 17, and all of the shows are
available to Prime members. This set of
shows includes “Oasis,” a space thriller
starring Richard Madden (better known as Robb Stark from “Game of
Thrones”), “The Legend of Master Legend,”
which regales the story of a DIY superhero on the Las Vegas
strip, and the already hyped-up “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,”
which follows a 1950s housewife from the Upper West Side and her
entrance into the world of standup comedy.
If you’re a Prime member, consider taking some time over the
weekend to enjoy and vote on some new shows. If you aren’t a
Prime subscriber yet, you can start a free 30-day trial to get
access to these shows and nearly a dozen other perks.
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