The Onion
Credit: Amazon

Make room, Netfix! Amazon is the latest streaming service trying its hand at original content. The mega-retailer plans to debut 12 pilots — six children’s series and six comedies — this spring, including Alpha House featuring John Goodman, and Onion News Empire with Jeffrey Tambor. We’ve got your first look at both below.

Alpha House

Based on a New York Times article about a group of senators who share a town house in Washington, D.C., Alpha House stars Goodman as John Biggs, a politician who finds out his seat is threatened by a celebrated Duke basketball coach. “[My character] doesn’t like to campaign — or do much of anything, except watch sports or ESPN, and drink. So he’s kind of in shock,” says Goodman, about the political rivalry. To make matters worse, Biggs finds out he has to go to Afghanistan as part of the campaign. “He’s really not crazy about that,” says Goodman. “But he’s got a wife who is his backbone, more or less, and she’s forcing him to go.”

Credit: Lewis Jacobs/NBC

Onion News Empire

The live-action comedy gives viewers a glimpse into the fictional offices of the Onion News Empire, with Bill Sadler playing a harried news director and Jeffrey Tambor taking on the role of an egotistical, self-declared TV legend. “He’s very vain and doesn’t like competition,” says Tambor, about his role. “He has a little bit of a character, Hank Kingsley, that I played many years back on The Larry Sanders Show. I liked that about him.”

The Amazon pilot isn’t Tambor’s first foray into this new age of “television.” The actor will also be seen in the fourth season of Arrested Development on Netflix this April. “Both Netflix and Amazon have the electricity and the enthusiasm that only fans can produce and that’s what I love about it,” explains Tambor. “The fun is in the medium and the message.”

For more about Amazon’s development plans, pick-up the issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands March 15.

Alpha House
  • TV Show