We’ve been keeping you up to date on some of Amazon’s more high-profile TV show developments, but the day has finally come that the service has dumped them in front of the public. Rather than promoting each of their shows individually leading up to binge-ready full series premieres like Netflix though, Amazon has decided to take the Battle Royale approach…
Right now at Amazon there is an inexplicably difficult-to-find page on which you can try out any and all of their 14 new pilots for free. Six of them are kids shows, and 8 are standard comedies, including Zombieland, Onion News Empire, a John Goodman vehicle called Alpha House about four senators living together, and a musical comedy from some 30 Rock and Daily Show folks called Browsers. This buffet of free-streaming new pilots is more than an attempt to get more Amazon Instant Video subscribers- it’s a fight to the death to see what shows go to series.
Basing their decision on view count, social media mentions, engagement, and other mysterious data points they will cull over an unknown amount of time, Amazon Studios will be choosing some amount of these shows for the full season treatment. This is essentially their testing process brought out into the open- with you getting to play a small part in it. Which mean if you watch and love a show, let Amazon know about it with reviews and ratings.
Here are the shows…
Based on the hit Columbia Pictures movie of the same name, and finds four survivors outwitting zombies and searching for a place to call home. The Zombieland pilot comes from the feature film’s original creative team, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Joe Schmo Show), and producer Gavin Polone (Gilmore Girls). Eli Craig (Tucker and Dale vs. Evil) is directing the pilot. The part of Tallahassee is played by Kirk Ward (The Island), Maiara Walsh (Desperate Housewives, Switched at Birth,) is cast as Wichita, Tyler Ross (Milkshake) will play Columbus, and Izabela Vidovic has the role of Little Rock.
Onion News Empire is a smart, fast-paced scripted comedy set behind the scenes of The Onion News Network that shows just how far journalists will go to stay at the top of their game. The Onion Presents: The News is from The Onion’s Will Graham & Dan Mirk (The Onion News Network, The Onion Sportsdome).
Alpha House was written by Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury, Tanner ’88). Alpha House follows four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC.
Written by 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show), directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock) and produced by 3 Arts’ David Miner, Browsers is a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website.
Set in the land of Silicon Valley start-ups where the right algorithm can make you king, Betas, written by Evan Endicott andJosh Stoddard, follows four computer geeks and their quest for nerd fame as they attempt to crack the ultimate code. Ed Begley Jr., Jon Daly, Joe Dinicol, Margo Harshman, Charlie Saxton and Karan Soni star in the pilot. Michael Lehmann (Heathers) directed and produced the pilot along with Alan Freedland and Alan Cohen (King of the Hill), and producer Michael London (Sideways).
Written by Big Bang Theory co-stars Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie, Dark Minions is an animated workplace series about two slackers just trying to make a paycheck working an intergalactic warship. The pilot will be produced by Principato-Young (Reno 911).
Written by Andrew Orvedahl, Adam Cayton-Holland and Benjamin Roy (Grawlix), who were discovered through Amazon Studios online open door process, Those Who Can’t is a comedy about three juvenile, misfit teachers who are just as immature, if not more so, than the students they teach.
Supanatural is an animated comedy series about two outspoken divas who are humanity’s last line of defense against the supernatural, when they’re not working at the mall. The series, written by Lily Sparks, Price Peterson and Ryan Sandoval, is produced by Jason Micallef (Butter) and Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show).
…and here’s the kid stuff:
Creative Galaxy is an animated interactive art adventure series, designed to inspire kids’ creative thinking through crafts, story, music and dance. The series was created by Angela Santomero, creator ofSuper Why!, the Emmy-nominated literacy series, Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
In this innovative problem solving series, Dot, Dorothy’s daughter, goes off to Oz everyday with the children of the beloved characters from L. Frank Baum’s classic book, The Wizard of Oz. In each episode, the yellow brick road leads Dot to a new magical location where she solves problems alongside her Oz friends.
Teeny Tiny Dogs
Produced by The Jim Henson Company (Sid the Science Kid, Dinosaur Train) and created by Howard Baker (Rugrats), Teeny Tiny Dogs follows Butch, Butterfly, Dinky and Polly as they help one another navigate the big world despite their teeny, tiny, small size. This series promotes happiness through friendship, learning, growing and developing a strong sense of self as seen through the eyes of canine friends.
Tumbleaf was created by Drew Hodges and Bix Pix Studios, an award-winning stop motion studio. The series, aimed at preschoolers, is set in a whimsical land where a small blue fox named Fig plays each day and discovers adventure, friendship and love around every bend in the path. Children will be enriched by narratives that promote play through exploration and cognitive reasoning.
The Untitled J.J. Johnson Project
The Untitled J.J. Johnson Project revolves around Anne, a young scientist, who creates three robot helpers to assist her scientific experiments in the back of her dad’s junkyard. This science-based series from creator J.J. Johnson (Dino Dan, This is Emily Yeung) aims to introduce kids to science and technology in a fun, new way.