Amazon is sending a clear message with its decisions regarding its September group of TV pilots: it's going all in on streaming video. The online conglomerate revealed this afternoon it's giving series orders to five of its six fall pilots, including comedies from Tig Notaro and Louis CK (One Mississippi) and Sacha Baron Cohen (Highston). Deadline is reporting that the one pilot not given a series order, Shane Black's Edge, is having its option extended.
This is the highest success rate for an Amazon pilot season since the program began in 2013. None of the shows picked up have premiere dates yet, but they could debut in full on Amazon Prime Video as soon as next year. They'll join shows like Bryan Cranston's Sneaky Pete and David E. Kelley's Trial in development. In addition to picking up the pilots mentioned above, Amazon has recently renewed several of its existing shows, including comedy Red Oaks, Hand of God, and alternate history drama The Man in the High Castle.
It's an intense time to be in the TV business
Taken together, all of these renewals and series orders represent Amazon's biggest step yet into the world of original programming. It's coming at the perfect time, as the company's rivals in the streaming video sphere have been ratcheting up their own efforts all year. Netflix recently announced it's doubling the number of original scripted shows it airs next year; Hulu is gaining ground with a mix of new subscription options, aggressive external licensing, and well-received new shows like Casual. Of course, cable and network channels are performing their own maneuvers just to stay afloat in this newly competitive atmosphere. It's an intense time to be in the TV business, but it's hard to complain from a consumer perspective. There's never been more to watch, and moves like Amazon's are going to ensure that remains true through 2016 and beyond.