Just hours after collecting two Golden Globes for the second year in a row, Amazon Studios took a victory lap at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour as it debuted a few shows the network hopes will add to its Globes tally next year.
"It's gratifying and exciting to get this recognition and win … two years in a row," said Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios, of the wins for best comedy series and best actor in a musical or comedy series, both for Mozart in the Jungle. The studio won the same awards last year for Transparent. Even better for Amazon: Its streaming competitors Netflix and Hulu were shut out Sunday night, though Netflix's eight nominations were more than any outlet.
Beyond the awards recognition for Mozart and Transparent, "customers loved the stories we told," Price said.
"Over the last two months, Amazon Prime members spent eight times more time watching Amazon original series than they did over the same time period last year," said Price, who, as is the norm with streaming services, refused to provide any more comprehensive data than that. (So, it could be anything from eight times 1,000 views to eight times 1,000,000 views.)
Man in the High Castle, which was released in November and has already been renewed for a second season, became the most-viewed original show on the service, displacing Bosch. Streaming of kids' series "more than doubled in the last quarter" compared to the same time last year, said Price, while streaming during the 2015 holiday season also more than doubled over the 2014 holiday season.
Price said the first seasons of Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle are enjoying significant streaming lifts as the show's second seasons were released last month, "so people catch up and run through the whole thing, which is great."
Looked toward his 2016 lineup of series, Price said Amazon covets shows with "voice and a vision."
"We're looking for visionary creators with a voice that will stand out over time," he said.
Among the shows that fit the bill are The New Yorker Presents, which echoes the New Yorker format with a mix of content—documentaries, short films, animation and humor—based on the magazine.
While Price told me last summer that Amazon had decided to stick with the all-at-once binge-watching model—"I think people are used to it now, and it would be a hard switch to make," he said at the time—the outlet has made an exception for The New Yorker Presents. It will release two new episodes each Tuesday, beginning Feb. 16.
"We're always going to be open to experimentation," said Joe Lewis, head of comedy at Amazon, of the decision to release episodes of the show weekly. "For every show, we think about how we should release it."
Drama Mad Dogs (premiering Jan. 22), based on a British series, is about a group of 40-something friends who reunite in Belize for a trip that goes horribly wrong. Executive producer Shawn Ryan, who created The Shield, noted that because the show is airing on Amazon, "We didn't have to fit to a conformed time frame," meaning episodes can be as short or long as the story dictates—anything from 40 minutes to 55 minutes.
Bosch, which had been Amazon's most-streamed original series until The Man in the High Castle snatched that title away last month, returns for Season 2 on March 11. The show is based on Michael Connelly's best-selling novels about LAPD homicide detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch, played by Titus Welliver. "Michael's books are page-turners, and we have tried to replicate that," said executive producer Henrik Bastin. "You say, 'I'm done after three episodes,' and then ... 'just one more!'"
Also returning for a second season is the comedy Catastrophe (premiering April 8), one of 2015's best new shows which features a time jump in Season 2. "We wanted to show the horror of a marriage in progress," explained star and co-creator Rob Delaney, while co-star and co-creator Sharon Horgan added, "We didn't want to get bogged down in the comedy of having a new baby."