Not to be outdone by Netflix and Hulu, Amazon has announced plans to produce exclusive content for its video streaming service. The e-commerce giant has ordered the making of pilots episodes for six original comedy series, which will be written by individuals with varying degrees of industry experience, including some veterans.
Some noteworthy names include Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau (perhaps best known for his Doonesbury comic strip), David Javerbaum (The Daily Show), Don Scardino (30 Rock), as well as Big Bang Theory co-stars Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie. We'll include a full list of the upcoming shows and their writers below.
After the six pilots are completed, Amazon will post them on its Instant Video service for everyone to watch for free. In doing so, the company hopes to receive plenty of feedback about what shows should continue to be produced and which ones should be scrapped. It's unclear if Amazon has an idea about how many shows it wants to make or if all of them have the potential to live on. However, the company has said the shows that make it past one episode will only be available to Amazon Prime members via Prime Instant Video.
"Since launching our original series development effort, we have received more than 2,000 series ideas from creators around the world with all different backgrounds, and we are extremely excited to begin production on our very first set of pilots," Amazon Studios Director Roy Price said. "Amazon has been so innovative and successful in so many realms, it's impossible not to get excited about its new venture into online programming. We look forward to partnering with Amazon's creative team [and] making a great show" Garry Trudeau said.
- Alpha House - 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.
- Browsers - Written by 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and to be directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock), Browsers is a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website.
- Dark Minions - 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).
- The Onion Presents: The News - The Onion Presents: The News 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).
- Supanatural - 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, will be produced by Jason Micallef (Butter) and Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show).
- Those Who Can't - 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.