“We can firmly say that Wheel of time was the premiere of the most watched series of the year and one of the Top 5 series launches of all time for Prime Video, ”Amazon Studios director Jennifer Salke said of the debut, acknowledging that the company – like most streamers – is “trying to figure out how transparent we’re going to be in the future” with ratings.
Prime Video is one of the SVOD platforms that does not disclose audience data, but Salke revealed that “there are dozens and tens of millions of streams” for The wheel of time in the first three days of its release, with the United States, India, Brazil, Canada, France and Germany as the main countries.
In an encouraging sign for The wheel of timeThe longevity of, the series also recorded some of the highest completion rates ever on the service, Salke added. In addition, according to third party TV-I, The wheel of time was the # 1 social media series in all releases last weekend and is the biggest Amazon Original series on social media this year.
With its solid beginnings, The wheel of time, along with Rosamund Pike, lives up to its excellent pre-launch follow-up. Parrot Analytics earlier this month released data showing The wheel of time surpassing other recent fantasy new series, including the hit Netflix The witcher, in global pre-release demand, projecting that The wheel of time might have the biggest Prime Video opening since the Season 2 premieres of The boys in October 2020 and original Indian Mirzapur in November 2020. (Both The wheel of time and The boys are from Sony Pictures Television, which co-produces them with Amazon Studios.)
Salke will not be releasing further audience information on The wheel of time first, but said that “it is definitely a tendency to exceed our expectations which were high”.
Between Emmy-nominated comic book adaptation The boys as Prime Video’s flagship American drama, The wheel of timea promising start and the anticipated launch of The Lord of the Rings, the genre has become a key programming area for the streamer and a focus of continued development.
One of the company’s newest hopes in the arena is Mass Effect. Amazon Studios is close to closing a deal to develop a series based on Electronic Arts’ best-selling sci-fi video game franchise.
“You will see us continue to invest in fantasy genre of all kinds, we have a genre-focused team on the ground in the studios that works tirelessly with our creative partners on these rosters, and you can expect more,” Salke said.
The wheel of timeThe successful launch of, for which Salke also gave credit to Amazon Studios’ marketing and advertising teams, comes after a difficult year for Prime Video – and virtually every linear and streaming network – including content pipelines. have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Production of several of his series delayed, including the Emmy-winning comedy The Wonderful Mrs. Maisel, Amazon has relied on movie acquisitions to keep the services flowing and used the opportunity to cultivate new audiences with a mix of original series and movies.
“As we looked at the challenges that Covid presented with our roster, it was really important that we create great cultural moments on a global scale around the content,” said Salke. “We came out at the end of 2020 with Borat, and through 2021, build that momentum with our list of originals. I’m so glad we were able to run a document list with Coming to America, Sans remords, Sylvie’s Love, One Night In Miami, Them: Covenant and Underground Railroad that we were able to strategically program within Covid to attract a new audience to Prime Video. We have made significant improvements by making Black customers around the world feel like Prime Video is a home to them, which I am extremely proud of.
While movies like these as well as The war of tomorrow and Cinderella “Kept our customers very engaged on the service”, “I think we were all looking forward to Wheel of time being the next big tentpole that we might climb onto the service while we’re still in this pandemic, ”Salke said. “It’s kind of the door to the robust content list that has been delayed for so many different reasons that all came together in 2022 and 23.”
This includes the tent pole The the Lord of the Rings, which premieres on September 2, 2022. Amazon recently announced that production of season 2 of the series adaptation JRR Tolkien will be relocating to the UK from New Zealand where season 1 was filmed.
Salke didn’t have any update on the locations and production start date for Season 2, but said this about LOTR :
“All the systems are on this show, it looks absolutely amazing and we can’t wait to launch it to the world. We know our global audiences are hungry for high fantasy and beloved intellectual property based shows; we see it with Wheel of time, and the Lord of the Rings will be the centerpiece of our year.
Much has been written about comments attributed to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in the fall of 2017 about a Prime Video lineup change to go for big tentpole series and find the new one. Game of Thrones. This resulted in a slew of high-profile genre projects being developed by the streamer around this time, including The lord of the rings, boys and The wheel of time.
Salke recalled his meeting with The wheel of time creator Rafe Judkins and executives at Sony TV after joining Amazon Studios in early 2018.
“It was so amazing to hear Rafe’s personal connection to it,” Salke recalls. “His mother, during a difficult coming of age period for him, bonded with him through this book. It was this all-important part of the storytelling that really informed him and his relationship with his family in so many ways. Obviously I knew – what we’re always looking for – how passionate he was about this material, how well he knew it, and how much affection and love he had for it. We lit [the series] out of this meeting, and I didn’t care; I felt we were in very good hands with him on this beloved huge property.
While Salke acknowledges that, “as always with a beloved IP address, you might get criticism for not staying exactly true to people’s vision of what the show should look like as it goes along.” ‘it’s coming to life, we’re in touch with the main fans of the novels and we know the majority of them are really excited and happy, it’s been really great, ”she said.
The wheel of time was renewed for a second season in May 2021, months before its series premiere. Season 2 production began in Prague, Czech Republic, in July 2021, where the series is roughly halfway through the main photography of the new season.
“You should expect more high-quality addictive storytelling that stays true to the original IP but also brings in some new original ideas and storylines,” Salke said of Season 2.
It’s too early to discuss a possible early renewal of Season 3, but it’s a real possibility.
“Let’s take some time under our feet, but I have a good feeling the show is going to go on for years and years,” said Salke.
Based on Jordan’s novels, The wheel of time was adapted for television by executive producer / showrunner Judkins. Larry Mondragon and Rick Selvage of iwot productions, Mike Weber and Ted Field of Radar Pictures, Darren Lemke, Marigo Kehoe and Uta Briesewitz will also be executive producers, with Briesewitz scheduled to direct the first two episodes. Rosamund Pike is a producer and Harriet McDougal and Brandon Sanderson are consultant producers. The wheel of time is co-produced by Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television.
Created by Casey Hudson, Drew Karpyshyn and Preston Watamaniuk, Mass Effect is a sci-fi action video game franchise developed by BioWare and Electronic Arts. The series launched in 2007 with the first Mass Effect game, which follows Systems Alliance Navy veteran Commander Shepard, who must battle an ancient race of machines that seeks to invade the Milky Way. The franchise also includes the second and third installments of the Mass Effect trilogy and various spin-offs, including mobile games and Mass Effect: Andromeda.
(Alexandra del Rosario contributed to this report.)