'The Crown,' 'Grand Tour' Executive Producers Talk Doing Netflix, Amazon Shows

'The Crown'

Andy Harries and Andy Wilman spoke at the Royal Television Society's Cambridge convention.

Many in the British TV industry may fear streaming video giants Netflix and Amazon because they are a sign of changes that have started affecting the industry and more to come, Andy Harries, CEO of Left Bank Pictures, the producer of Netflix hit drama The Crown, told a U.K. TV industry gathering on Wednesday.

Speaking at the Royal Television Society's Cambridge convention in a session titled "Show Me the Money!", the head of the production firm, in which Sony Pictures Television owns a majority stake, said Netflix is "fundamentally" changing the TV landscape in Britain and beyond, and long-established processes in the U.K. television space. "People fear the future," he said. "They can see the challenges coming down the line."

Harries is an executive producer on The Crown. The second season of the show, which stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith and tells the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, will launch in all Netflix territories Dec. 8.

Also speaking during the session was Andy Wilman, executive producer of Amazon motoring show The Grand Tour, which stars Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, the former hosts of BBC hit show Top Gear, and returns for its second season this fall. He said that the lack of ratings for streaming video shows can be a challenge. "It's harder when you are trying to get talent on the show" without ratings, he said.

Asked if creatives like them really don't know how many people watch their shows worldwide or in various countries, Wilman said he really doesn't. "They really won’t tell you," Harries added. 

Harries and Wilman also discussed the big budgets that streaming giants make available for original series, the creative freedom they offer and the origins and production of The Crown and The Grand Tour.