Amazon Studios’ inaugural slate of 14 pilots are now available at Amazon Instant Video, through any Amazon Instant Video app and at amazonoriginals.com. All of the pilots can be accessed for free, and customer feedback provided after each pilot is viewed will help determine which shows Amazon Studios will order to series.
Among the prospective shows are eight adult comedies and six children’s programs. Amazon’s comedy roster, in particular, is packed with stars. Alpha House stars John Goodman and Mark Consuelos with an appearance by Bill Murray, the musical Browsers features Tony-winner Bebe Neuwirth, and Jeffrey Tambor is part of the Onion News Empire ensemble.
The anticipated sequel-of-sorts series to the 2009 horror-comedy hit Zombieland is also among the pilot offerings.
The pilot screening process and selection of new shows is typically an internal and secretive process at most broadcast networks, so Amazon’s decision to make its pilots available to customers and to seek their input on which shows it will produce is a departure from the norm. But Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, sees its model as an opportunity to create “rule-breaking shows that in some way defy conventional wisdom.”
“Doing multiple pilots allows us to be experimental. If you put all your chips in on a small number of shows you’ve got to be psychic — we’re not psychic. But we do have a lot of information about what our customer watch, and we have the ability to include them in this process,” Price said to EW, in an email. “[In] the past year, the Amazon Studios team has collaborated with some of the best actors and writers in Hollywood to produce top-quality shows and now we can’t wait to hear what customers think. We want to create shows that Amazon customers will love, so who better to ask than Amazon customers themselves?”
Price concludes, “Studios look for the next [legendary former NBC executive] Brandon Tartikoff, but what if the next Brandon Tartikoff is all of us?”
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