×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

MipTV: Amazon’s Conrad Riggs on Accessing ‘Extraordinary’ Worlds

Conrad Riggs, head of unscripted at Amazon Originals, explained that what lay behind many of the reality shows the streaming platform is greenlighting is the opportunity for the audience to take an intimate look inside extraordinary worlds, he told an audience at TV content conference MipTV Saturday in Cannes, France.

Many of the shows are based on pre-established brands, such as the Emmy-nominated “All or Nothing,” centering on the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, an untitled docuseries about the McLaren Formula 1 racing team, and “American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story,” which premieres worldwide on Friday.

“They are opportunities to get inside of worlds that people don’t know the details about,” he said. “[They deliver] deep access, intimate access — where you get an honest look at extraordinary people doing extraordinary things.”

Following Amazon Prime Video’s decision to go global in the final quarter of last year — reaching more than 200 countries — Riggs has his sights set on satisfying that worldwide audience. Some of its shows are highly localized, such as a Japanese version of dating game-show “The Bachelor.”

Among upcoming projects are “Le Mans: Racing Is Everything,” produced by British production company New Black Films, which centers on the grueling, non-stop 24-hour car race that takes place in Le Mans, France. “The access is what defines that show and the intimacy: and then there are the characters, and also the danger,” Riggs said.

He is fired up about one show in particular, “Lore,” based on a popular podcast by Aaron Mahnke, which is focused on the “retelling of true stories based on supernatural events,” Riggs said.

He had assembled “a dream team of television” to develop the show, with Glenn Morgan (“The X-Files”) serving as showrunner, and Gale Anne Hurd (“The Walking Dead”), Ben Silverman (“The Office”), and Howard T. Owens (“The Biggest Loser”) on board as executive producers.

The show combines documentary footage, photographs, special effects and recreations in this “almost ‘Twilight Zone’ telling of stories that are almost commentaries on ourselves as human beings and our culture,” Riggs said.

He observed that podcasts as the basis for television were “interesting because listeners take ownership of them.”

“They are not marketed like a movie or a TV show — usually there is very little P.R. around them, and they are self-discovered, or they are discovered by word-of-mouth,” he said.

“So when people listen to a podcast, they take ownership and feel passionate about it. They [consume it] voraciously and proselytize for it.”

More TV

  • BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary with

    BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary With Stephen Fry, Freddie Fox

    A new documentary about Oscar Wilde will tell the celebrated writer’s story with a star cast recreating excerpts from his greatest works, including “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Freddie Fox, Claire Skinner, Anna Chancellor and James Fleet will all perform in the 80-minute show, “The Importance of Being Oscar,” which [...]

  • FOSSE VERDON -- Pictured: (l-r) Michelle

    TV News Roundup: 'Fosse/Verdon' Premiere Date Set at FX

    In today’s TV news roundup, FX announced the premiere date for “Fosse/Verdon,” and Comedy Central released a new trailer for the final season of “Broad City.”  DATES “Workin’ Moms” is set to premiere Feb. 22 on Netflix. The series, which is currently in its third season, first aired in Canada on CBC Television and is [...]

  • Ilana Glazer Abbi Jacobson

    'Broad City' Stars on Discovering New Aspects of Their Characters

    Throughout the run of “Broad City,” creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have been conflicted about how much of their on-screen characters (also named Abbi and Ilana) should come directly from their personalities and lives. But when it came to the final season, Jacobson in particular experienced a life-changing shift that she wanted to impart [...]

  • The Goldbergs spinoff

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilot 'Uninsured' From 'Goldbergs' Producers

    NBC has ordered a pilot for the multi-camera comedy “Uninsured.” In the series, young parents Dave and Rebecca end up having to take care of Dave’s parents who have mishandled their finances and need help to pay down a sizable debt. Dan Levy will serve as writer and executive producer, with Doug Robinson and Alison Greenspan [...]

  • Emily Kapnek

    'Splitting Up Together' Creator Emily Kapnek Inks Overall Deal at ABC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer and producer Emily Kapnek has signed a three-year overall deal at ABC Studios, Variety has learned exclusively. Kapnek most recently developed the ABC single-cam comedy series “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the Danish series “Bedre skilt end aldrig.” She was previously under an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which produces “Splitting Up [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content