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Why Amazon Studios "Pilot Season" voting gimmick is no more



TCA: New head of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke and her lieutenants, meet for the first time in their new job on the press.

When Amazon Prime Video introduced its first series, it did so with a trick: the audience was asked to decide which pilots should order Amazon.

Of course, it has always been a kind of cunning, as Amazon, like any other network, has made its ultimate Greenlight decisions: based on creative – and more importantly, economic reasons

Yet, Amazon was a useful marketing tool early on it sparked interest in possible new series. Of course, some shows were not heavily chosen (like "Transparent"), but they were still taken up and went to critical recognition and cultural relevance. But in recent years, Amazon has been pulling back on its public "pilot seasons" and opting more and more for direct series orders.

The final "Amazon Pilot Season" vote took place in the fall of 201

7 – just when the original Amazon Studios boss Roy Price was expelled from the company for a sexual harassment scandal.

Now the "Amazon Pilot Season" link goes on a dead-end page, and new Amazon Studios boss Jennifer Salke reaffirms to reporters on Saturday what was already pretty well-known: The gimmick is dead.

  Albert Cheng, Jennifer Salke and Vernon Sanders Amazon Studios Executive Session Panel, TCA Summer Press Tour, Los Angeles, USA - July 28, 2018

Albert Cheng, Jennifer Salke and Vernon Sanders

David Buchan / Vaudeville / REX / Shutterstock

"I never say never, but right, this version is not something, "Salke said at Amazon's part of the TV Critics Association's press conference on Saturday. "But you'll see that we invest in pilots, and we will use our own test barometers and some targeted data to make decisions."

Albert Cheng, co-head of Amazon Studios, is a veterinarian from the Amazon The pilot's season saw and said that the studio realized that it had taken too long to get shows that customers wanted. You think about the piloting process, you have the piloting process, you vote, it gets a green light, and there's that lengthy time to finish writing. It took far too long to get the actual season. Part of it was making sure customers got their shows as soon as possible. "

Salke agrees:" Keep up the momentum and make a hit there.

Saturday's panel was Salke's first TCA press tour Since assuming the position of Amazon Studios, she has moved away from her former job as President of NBC Entertainment this spring, becoming co-head of Vernon from Cheng and TV Sanders flanks another NBC Universal Alum.

"It was five months for me here on Amazon," she said. Salkes arrival coincided with the move from Amazon Studios to the Culver Studios, which she offered as a creative home for talent. "We're constantly building our creative partners," she added.

Salke unveiled a long list of announcements, including a Season 3 renewal for "Sneaky Pete," which begins production this week in Los Angeles.

"We will build a more curated group of talented creatives and artists and develop the best content for our clients," she said. "You're not going to see a huge volume game, or 'Oh, it's from the network, so they're going to get wide." We have a long reach [but] we do not want to compromise on quality. "

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