Amazon Studios: the dark horse to #SaveGirlMeetsWorld?

When the news came that Disney Channel was officially cancelling Girl Meets World, most people immediately looked to Netflix for a rescue. Netflix has rescued more cancelled shows than any other streaming platform so far, so it’s natural that people would think of them first. In the weeks since, however, we’ve learned that Netflix is a no-go. This site has gone into detail about how Hulu is perhaps the most logical potential savior for Girl Meets World, but despite everything in our favor with Hulu there is a potential snag: the day before the Netflix news broke, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins mentioned in an interview that they are far less likely to rescue a show for which they do not currently hold the streaming license. The hope is that Hulu’s existing business relationships with Disney-ABC Television Group along with fan support can overcome that obstacle, but the truth is they may not be able to. Which brings us to Amazon Studios. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Amazon Studios has yet to mount a rescue of a cancelled show—in the U.S., anyway. In the UK, Amazon Studios rescued Ripper Street and continued the show for three more seasons after the BBC cancelled it. But this doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be open to the idea of saving a show stateside:
    • Other streaming companies have made waves by rescuing cancelled titles, where you have focused mostly on originals. Are you interested in taking any cast-off titles, and are there any specific ones that you’re kicking the tires on?
      We’d be open to it for the right show, but we haven’t seen it yet. Our only goal is to get the greatest shows that we can for Amazon customers and we’re very open minded as to how that can happen.” — Amazon Studios head Roy Price; Entertainment Weekly, January 2015
  2. Unlike Netflix and Hulu, there has been no “hard no” or potential no reported by the press. Netflix is off the board for sure and even though there is hope, Hulu may be unable or unwilling to overcome the streaming license issue.
  3. Speaking of streaming licenses, Amazon Video (along with iTunes) currently holds pay-per-episode/season streaming rights to both Boy Meets World and Girl Meets World.
  4. While Girl Meets World may not seem like a good fit with Amazon’s current comedy originals line-up at first glance, their head of half-hour originals is actually looking for a multi-cam and seems to share some aesthetic sensibilities with Jacobs himself:
    • So if you’re anti-sitcom, does that mean no multi-cam comedy from someone like Chuck Lorre? Or animation?
      No. In fact, it’s the opposite. You’ve caught me at a moment where I’m telling everyone that I want a multi-camera. What I don’t want is something with a laugh track. I don’t want something where you can predict where it’s going. But I’m so fortunate that I just run into the smartest people in my job. I’ve gotten to know Norman Lear over a time. You look at his shows, and there are long stretches without laughter. I think you can do that in multi-camera, and I’m actively looking for multi-cams because there’s no one taking on this tone that we’re looking for — serialized [comedy] shows.” — Joe Lewis, Amazon head of half-hour originals; Vulture, October 2016
    • “I would like to get completely rid of [the laugh track].” — Michael Jacobs; Artist Alley Podcast, June 2015
  5. Like Hulu, Amazon lacks a family-friendly comedy original with broad age-demographic appeal.
  6. While Hulu plans to expand internationally eventually, Amazon is already hard at work to position itself as a global competitor to Netflix. To that end, they’ve been throwing quite a bit of money around:
    • “Price wouldn’t say how much Amazon is paying for ‘Grand Tour,’ from Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the former hosts of BBC’s ‘Top Gear.’ The price tag has become an industry guessing game with estimates ranging from $160 million to $250 million. ‘I would say it was expensive, but well worth it,’ he said. ‘That is a show that has a strong global following, and we’d love to have more like that.'” — Variety, December 2016
  7. While there’s no guarantee that new episodes of Girl Meets World would be available internationally immediately should Amazon Studios save the show, the service is now available internationally in more than 200 countries. In the United States, the monthly fee is $8.99 for a Prime Video subscription without the more expensive Prime membership.

We know campaign fatigue and pessimism is setting in for many, but at this point no news is still good news! Unless we get a hard no from Hulu or Amazon Studios, we can and should be appealing to them as much as we can. We know the world is now and has always been full of bigger problems than a cancelled television show, but for us at least (and probably most of you as well), trying to save a show that has something substantial to say and is beloved by millions of families around the world feels like a small and still-achievable victory. So, if you haven’t made an appeal to Amazon Studios yet, please head over to the action page and take the time to do so today. If you didn’t send Amazon Studios a paper airplane with the first wave, please do so now if you can!