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Home » How to Use Data to Make a Hit TV Show: Sebastian Wernicke (Transcript)

How to Use Data to Make a Hit TV Show: Sebastian Wernicke (Transcript)


Sebastian Wernicke

Sebastian Wernicke – Data scientist

Roy Price is a man that most of you have probably never heard about, even though he may have been responsible for 22 somewhat mediocre minutes of your life on April 19, 2013. He may have also been responsible for 22 very entertaining minutes, but not very many of you. And all of that goes back to a decision that Roy had to make about three years ago.

So you see, Roy Price is a senior executive with Amazon Studios. That’s the TV production company of Amazon. He’s 47 years old, slim, spiky hair, describes himself on Twitter as “movies, TV, technology, tacos.” And Roy Price has a very responsible job, because it’s his responsibility to pick the shows, the original content that Amazon is going to make. And of course that’s a highly competitive space. I mean, there are so many TV shows already out there, that Roy can’t just choose any show. He has to find shows that are really, really great. So in other words, he has to find shows that are on the very right end of this curve here.

So this curve here is the rating distribution of about 2,500 TV shows on the website IMDB, and the rating goes from one to 10, and the height here shows you how many shows get that rating. So if your show gets a rating of nine points or higher, that’s a winner. Then you have a top two percent show. That’s shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Wire,” so all of these shows that are addictive, whereafter you’ve watched a season, your brain is basically like, “Where can I get more of these episodes?” That kind of show.

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