Amazon Studios to Hire Commissioning Team in London to Amp Up U.K. Original Show Production

Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios, said Wednesday the company would be appointing a commissioning executive in London soon, who will be head of original content for non-U.S. shows, and was looking to amp up its commissioning in the U.K.

Amazon Studios has already invested in eight U.K. shows, including comedies “Fleabag,” written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and “Catastrophe,” written by and starring Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan, and was looking to build on that.

Price said that “a good show tends to travel,” and there were few differences in the tastes of his multi-territory audiences.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Intl. TV Festival, Price said that it was more of a winner-takes-all environment in the TV industry nowadays and his objective was to have people love his shows.

“In today’s environment where there are so many TV shows, having a show that 90% of people think is like pretty fair is not that useful because in an on-demand environment people are probably not going to demand that show,” he said.

“So maybe 20 years ago the show would have more value, you could put it at 9.30 p.m. and it would hold the audience… but these days I think the value of a mid-level show is substantially reduced from where it was, and one of the shows at the top, that people are really talking about and are passionate about, that is really where the value is.”

When looking for new Amazon shows, Price said the aim was to find one that stood out. “The key to standing out in such a busy environment – if you are going to do it in a sustained way – is the show has to have a voice that people care about, that people love and that is really distinctive,” he said.

“If somethings isn’t slightly controversial or you are a little worried about it, maybe it is just boring and passé, maybe it is just ordinary, and the thing is the returns on ordinary are rapidly declining. It’s got to be neat, it’s got to be amazing, it has got to be worth talking about.”

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