Via NeoGAF user ReturnOfTheRAT, this is the review data for the latest round of Amazon pilots around the time they went offline last night:
Rebels - 3347 - 8/10
Transparent - 2675 - 7.3/10
The After - 10916 - 7.8/10
Bosch - 10151 - 8.8/10
Mozart in the Jungle - 3343 - 8.4/10
What does this data mean? The answer at the current moment is that we have no idea. Although Amazon obviously wants user feedback and viewing data as data to use when making decisions, there is no sense of how it is weighted relative to issues of branding, issues that to this stage Amazon has not had to deal with given how little original programming it has.
Obviously, Amazon has two existing original series, Alpha House and Betas, although both have been almost wholly absent from general conversation within spaces where TV is discussed online. Recently, Amazon has made a number of deals for exclusive streaming to shows that are discussed in those spaces, like Hannibal, Orphan Black, Justified, and The Americans. They also have the same-week streaming deal on CBS’ Under the Dome, which they renewed for the series’ second season. These deals are the start of a brand identity, but it’s one that’s difficult to translate directly onto the pilot orders, and which lacks any sort of focus or clarity.
It’s clear based on this data that Bosch and The After, tapping into existing fan cultures, have the most support among audiences based on the sheer volume of reviews (although The After’s lower review total is a sign it’s not just fans contributing to that total). It’s also clear that Rebels and Mozart in the Jungle are on the lower end of the spectrum, without any clear evidence of intense audience support.
And yet nothing is clear—pun mostly intended—about Transparent based on these numbers. It has the lowest number of reviews and the lowest review score out of the five drama/comedy pilots, and yet it was also the only one critics were talking about, and the only one that seemed to generate buzz in the TV “industry” on a level that could be valuable for Amazon’s brand identity. But these numbers reiterate that as much as Amazon purports to an “open” pilot process, the fact is that the decisions which will determine Transparent’s fate will happen behind closed doors, based on unquantifiable judgments of the series’ value that may have little to do with what Amazon users at large thought about the series.
Word is Amazon’s decision will come sometime in the next week or two—I’ll likely have some thoughts then on what does and does not translate through data when it comes to Amazon’s decision-making.