Amazon Studios restructures unscripted, unveils UK originals

Amazon Studios has restructured the unscripted operations of its Prime Video and Freevee teams in the US.

Chris Castallo, who had previously worked across Prime Video’s unscripted output, will now also oversee Freevee’s unscripted programming as the AVOD service continues its expanding originals roster.

He reports into Lauren Anderson, who expanded her remit earlier this month alongside Ryan Pirozzi.

Pirozzi, who became head of business for Freevee, previously served as co-head of content and programming for the streamer, while Anderson expanded her scope to lead on AVOD original content and programming at Amazon Studios and Freevee.

Pirozzi took up his previous role in February 2020, in which he oversaw a slate including Freevee originals such as Bosch: Legacy and Bug Out, while Castallo has been behind shows such as The One That Got Away.

Amazon has been increasing investment in Freevee over the past 12 months, spending on US originals and rolling out in Germany earlier this month, its second international launch following the UK last year. The service initially launched in the US in 2019 as IMDb Freedive, before rebranding to IMDb TV, and eventually Freevee in April.

The streamer committed to growing its originals slate by 70% this year, following its rebranding and in May announced a slew of new originals and pickups on existing shows, across both scripted and unscripted.

More recently, the service has ordered a remake of UK comedy, Friday Night Dinner and saved Jeff Daniels-starring American Rust, following its cancellation by Showtime, picking it up for a second season.

The service also carries a library of movies and TV shows including Hotel MumbaiOstfriesisch für AnfängerNightcrawler and 2 Broke Girls.

In related news, Amazon Prime Video has also unveiled new shows here at the Edinburgh TV Festival, including Fake Sheikh from Voltage TV.

The show will reveal the behind-the-scenes story of UK reporter Mazher Mahmood, who used false identities to get stories from high profile celebs. Other series include The Greatest Show Never Made, which explores how a group of people were fooled into quitting their jobs to take part in a non-existent reality show.

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