Amazon Breaks News, Dazzles Advertisers in Star-Studded First Upfront Presentation

Amazon Prime Video made its first upfront presentation to advertisers on Tuesday in New York, with the streamer bringing out some of its biggest stars to break some news while touting its original series, film and sports offerings

Published Time: 14.05.2024 - 18:31:30 Modified Time: 14.05.2024 - 18:31:30

Amazon Prime Video made its first upfront presentation to advertisers on Tuesday in New York, with the streamer bringing out some of its biggest stars to break some news while touting its original series, film and sports offerings.

Amazon took over Pier 36 in Manhattan, which included a large installation dedicated to Amazon shows like “Fallout” and “The Summer I Turned Pretty” as well as movies like “Road House” and their various sports offerings like “Thursday Night Football.”

Amazon’s first major upfront started half an hour late — the long line to get in was referenced several times by Amazon MGM Studios head Jen Salke and even “You’re Cordially Invited” stars Reese Witherspoon and Will Ferrell. But once inside, advertisers were presented a star-studded litany of projects and news designed to make a huge splash in the marketplace.

Alicia Keys (making sure to promote her new skincare brand Keys Soulcare, available on Amazon Premium Beauty, natch) opened the show with a medley of popular tunes, including “No One” and and “Empire State of Mind (Part II).”

Then Prime Video/Amazon MGM Studios senior VP Mike Hopkins welcomed the audience and gave his pitch. Then Amazon MGM Studios head Salke took the stage and revealed several announcements while bringing some of the streamer’s biggest stars to the stage.

Leading into the presentation, Amazon had already made a number of major news announcements, including: Nicolas Cage starring in their Spider-Man Noir live-action series; “Mr. And Mrs. Smith” getting renewed for Season 2; “The Boys” getting renewed for Season 5; and the first teaser for the Alex Cross series.

During Salke’s portion of the proceedings, a parade of stars took the stage. Jake Gyllenhaal joined Salke onstage to announce a sequel to “Road House.” “Reacher” star Alan Ritchson and “Cross” star Aldis Hodge were up next to discuss their respective series, followed by Reese Witherspoon and Will Ferrell for their film “You’re Cordially Invited.” That was before Hannah Waddingham and Octavia Spencer came out to hype their untitled action adventure series. Patton Oswalt and Keke Palmer broke down some unscripted offerings. And that is without mention -

ing the series order for a “Tomb Raider” series from “Fleabag” creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge that Salke announced from the stage.

Also revealed: The stars and creator of “The Summer I Turned Pretty” also made an appearance, announcing the third season of the YA series would not debut until 2025, but also that it would consist of 11 episodes instead of the seven for its first season and eight for its second.

That was all before Amazon got to their sports programming, including the upcoming debut of NASCAR on Prime Video on top of the streamer’s NFL presence. Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the stage to discuss the NASCAR coverage, which will include a docuseries about his father, racing legend Dale Earnhardt. Then tennis legend Roger Federer came out in support of his feature documentary “Roger Federer: 12 Final Days.”

The list goes on.

Amazon also continued the trend threading its way through this year’s upfronts — the prominent placement of movies. On top of Ferrell and Witherspoon’s presence for “You’re Cordially Invited” and Gyllenhaal for “Road House,” Ritchson talked up his upcoming holiday movie “The Man With the Bag” in which he co-stars with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Salke also mentioned upcoming Amazon originals like “Play Dirty” with Mark Wahlberg and the action comedy “Heads of State” starring Idris Elba, Priyanka Chopra-Jonas, and John Cena.

In the end, Salke saved one last surprise: Witherspoon came out again to reveal that a “Legally Blonde” prequel about the high school years of Elle Woods has been ordered to series atPrime Video. Currently titled “Elle,” the logline for the series states that it “follows Elle Woods in high school as we learn about the life experiences that shaped her into the iconic young woman we came to know and love in the first ‘Legally Blonde’ film.”

All in all, not a bad way to make your first upfront appearance.

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