The much anticipated debuts of the new Fall line-up of TV shows are airing within the next few weeks, which means it’s time to see if all that focus group testing holds true to form. It’s an exciting yet nerve wracking time of the year for media executives and researchers because we know all too well that TV pilots only have two options--one, to swim, or two, to sink.
That's a lot riding on a small sample group of viewers sitting in a room with dials in their hands. But what if the networks market tested their TV pilots publicly online instead of in private viewing rooms? No, this isn’t some hair-brained idea. In fact, as pointed out in this Entertainment Weekly article, Amazon and its production house Amazon Studios have been doing exactly that by first airing their “fledgling” pilots on their site and asking viewers to rate and comment on them; then using that feedback to decide which pilots get picked up and which get the axe.