×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shaping Amazon Prime Video’s European Content Plans

Amazon has big programming ambitions for its Prime Video service in Europe and Georgia Brown is tasked with making them a reality. The former BBC Worldwide and FremantleMedia executive joined the streamer last year as its first director of original television for Europe.

Beth Pattinson has since joined her team, coming over from the BBC to work on development, as has Ram Murali, previously part of the Amazon Studios original movies team.

Alongside the global juggernauts such as “Good Omens,” local programming, such as the first French original, Franco-German comedy “Deutsch Les Landes,” and debut Spanish offering, football doc “Six Dreams,” is bubbling up. Brown talks Variety through her plans and rise to the top.

What’s the opportunity in terms of original content in Europe?
In Europe we have an incredible opportunity to change the creative conversation and define what we believe to be truly original and distinctive television. We are able to engage with the production community in a way the terrestrials haven’t been able to, because of their attitude to risk, restrictive remits and budgets.

How does Prime Video fit into the wider Prime offering?
We are unique because of Prime. It allows us to tap into millions of customers globally, which inevitably means we can take bigger creative risks. On the day that “The Grand Tour” debuted, total new Prime membership sign-ups exceeded all previous days with the exception of Amazon’s renowned Prime Day. Ultimately, in Europe we want to make bold television that people love, and you can’t do that without taking risks. Because of Prime, we have a dialogue with our customers and audience in a deeper way than possible at the terrestrials.

What has Amazon’s impact on the content business been thus far?
Talent on and off screen that we have worked with continue to tell us that what they love about working with Amazon is the freedom we give them to make their shows with minimal interference. The obvious challenge as a new player in the European commissioning market is working with the creative community to ensure they bring us their next bold idea. We want to talk to the best upcoming and established content creators to work together to bring unique, artist-driven content. We are interested in character-led stories in worlds our customers don’t want to leave.

Culturally, is it very different being at a ‘‘digital” company?
Being digital has obvious advantages — we don’t have rigid schedules and we can take bigger swings when needed. We can take time, allowing our creative journey to evolve on merit rather than making decisions based purely on commercial pressures. In Europe, being a new department allows us to observe those that have gone before and not make the same mistakes.

“We want to talk to the best upcoming and established content creators to work together to bring unique, artist- driven content.”
Georgia Brown

How has the way that people consume and engage with content evolved in the SVOD world?
I have never known a time when the viewers are more engaged — and it’s largely due to technology allowing them to have a conversation with the content, its characters, the writers and producers — in a way that just wasn’t physically possible before. When I first started in TV it used to be that we would follow trends from other industries that would eventually trickle down to the small screen. I strongly believe that TV is now a trendsetter, influencing all the creative industries from publishing to fashion.

You have one of the biggest jobs in European TV; did you have a mentor as you came through the ranks?
For over 10 years I have been surrounded by some of the world’s top producers and I am lucky enough to have worked for, and in amongst, some of the industry’s finest. I have huge admiration and owe a lot of thanks to [former Shine chief and now Channel 4 chief executive] Alex Mahon for her generosity with me. Working for Shine took me to another level in my career. However, [Sony Pictures Television’s president of international production] Wayne Garvie has always been a key figure in my career development and has mentored me for over 10 years.

Would you say it was more challenging to move up the ranks as a woman?
Looking up to women like Alex Mahon, Jane Featherstone and Jay Hunt, it has never crossed my mind that I won’t be able to achieve my goals because of my gender, but I am overtly aware of the challenges women can face: men being paid more, getting more senior roles with less experience, people hiring men because they are worried about women having children.

More TV

  • ChileVision-y-Mediapro-Studio

    The Mediapro Studio, ChileVision Sign Co-production Pact, Set ‘El Discipulo del Chef’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  —  Spanish production powerhouse The Mediapro Studio and Chilean broadcast network ChileVisión, part of  Turner Latin America, have signed a co-production pact, kicked off by “El discípulo del Chef,” an ambitious entertainment format. One of Mediapro’s big new unscripted plays, the show will be introduced to buyers at October’s Mipcom trade fair. The title [...]

  • david-tennant-in-netflix-procedural-criminal

    David Tennant, Hayley Atwell Among Guest Stars in Netflix Procedural ‘Criminal’

    A host of guest stars have signed on for “Criminal,” the stripped-down Netflix procedural set in France, Spain, Germany and the U.K. The action takes place within the confines of a police interview suite. There are three 45-minute episodes set in each country. Guest stars in the British installments include David Tennant (“Good Omens”), Hayley [...]

  • Baztan Elizondo Guardián Invisible

    Conecta Fiction: Spain’s Navarre Primes Film-TV Gameplan

    MADRID  — Navarre has been a long-term film and TV shooting locale thanks to diverse and sometimes stunning landscapes that take in the Bardenas Reales badlands, immortalized in titles such as “The World Is Not Enough” and “Game of Thrones.” One of Spain’s richest regions, Navarre has historically levied its own tax regime, which led [...]

  • Jeremy Sisto, Ebonee Noel, Dick Wolf,

    Dick Wolf Plots Cross-Network Crossover Between CBS, NBC

    Veteran television producer Dick Wolf, best known for creating the “Law & Order” franchise, is eyeing a cross-network crossover between his CBS freshman procedural “FBI” or its in-the-works spinoff “FBI: Most Wanted” and one of his NBC shows, such as “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” or “Chicago P.D.” The decision whether to go with [...]

  • Prince Albert II of Monaco (C),

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union's 'L.A.’s Finest' Opens Monte Carlo TV Festival

    Prince Albert II of Monaco opened the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival on Friday at a glittering ceremony at the principality’s Grimaldi Forum attended by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. The Hollywood actresses presented the French premiere of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest,” which has just been renewed for a second season. “You typically [...]

  • Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba'L.A.'s Finest'

    Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union Speak About Horrific 'L.A.’s Finest' On-Set Accident

    Actresses Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba spoke about how the horrific accident on the set of their action cop series “L.A.’s Finest” affected them and the crew at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival Saturday. They also paid tribute to the main victim of the incident, executive producer/co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier, whose leg was amputated below [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content