Amazon is aiming to attract younger viewers by ordering pilots for young adult TV shows College, Panic, and The Wilds. While young adult entertainment had been around for sometime, Amazon’s latest decision to jump on board potentially positions them to compete with Netflix and the CW – both who have found explosive success in the young adult shows they have decided to offer and stand behind.
Amazon has been making a name for itself in the entertainment industry providing streaming content through its Prime Video service. Success has been relatively found in the Amazon Studios films they have financed and released, such as Wonderstruck, Last Flag Flying and The Big Sick – many having the opportunity to showcase at festivals throughout the year. In recent years, as with Netflix and Hulu, Amazon has begun to branch out and create their own original content. Sneaky Pete, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Jack Ryan are only a small sampling of the vast library of shows that have streamed on prime video – yet none made for a younger target audience.
THR reports that Amazon Studios has ordered TV pilots for three Panic, The Wilds, and College, thus allowing the company to enter the young adult sphere, something that appears to be a priority for new studio head Jennifer Salke. While all will be written by an up-and-coming female writer, each seem to encapsulate a different part of what attracts young adult viewers.
Panic, based on Lauren Oliver’s New York Times best-selling novel, is a Hunger Games-esque story featuring a deadly high stakes game where graduating seniors compete, resulting in one winner’s life being changed forever. The Wilds brings the challenges of growing up female front and center in a social experiment surrounding a group of teenagers on a remote island as they discover themselves and each other. College gives viewers a look at six roommates surviving college and each other, providing viewers with a peek into the current challenges facing a new generation. With three potential new series on the table, Amazon is hoping to strike gold.
While YA programming, both in cinemas and on television, is nothing new, recent successes have proven the continued desire for more – something Amazon has been missing from their rapport of original content. With the success of shows like 13 Reasons Why, Riverdale, and The Vampire Diaries, this was a target audience Amazon was missing out on, yet one they are primed to attract. It’s unclear when the pilots will air, but considering Amazon’s sudden push into the space, it stands to reason that they will come sooner rather than later.
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