Advanced Television

Amazon debuts Round 2 original pilots

February 7, 2014

By Colin Mann

As it seeks to differentiate its online entertainment content from market rivals, Amazon has revealed the latest round of TV pilots from Amazon Studios – an initiative that allows viewers to have a say in the shows they’ll be watching in the future.

The first round of pilots resulted in the critically-acclaimed Garry Trudeau series Alpha House, tech comedy Betas and kids series Creative Galaxy, Tumble Leaf and Annedroids. Customers are encouraged to watch and provide feedback on the pilots to help determine which shows should be made into series. The pilots will launch exclusively on Amazon’s LOVEFiLM in the UK and Prime Instant Video in the US.

New to the pilot line-up for 2014 are two hour-long drama pilots from notable creators Chris Carter (The X-Files), Eric Overmyer (The Wire, Treme) and Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch). Half-hour comedy pilots were created by Oscar-nominated Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom), actor and musician Jason Schwartzman (Saving Mr. Banks), Tony-nominated writer and director Alex Timbers, Oscar nominated Paul Weitz, Emmy nominated Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under), and executive producers Ice Cube and Michael Strahan.

Kids shows come from award winning creators Duane Capizzi (Transformers Prime), Josh Selig (Wonder Pets), Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues), Arland DiGirolamo (Sketchy) and Geoff Barbanell (Kickin’ It) as well as David Anaxagoras, discovered through Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process. These pilots include pre-school shows, and new this year, shows for kids ages 6-11.

According to Simon Morris, Chief Marketing Officer of Amazon’s LOVEFiLM, the first wave of pilots proved incredibly popular with members providing feedback en masse. “The initiative is unique in that it puts the viewer at the heart of the decision making process in deciding the shows they’ll be watching in the future. With so many Hollywood heavyweights involved in the latest wave of pilots it’s well worth visiting LOVEFiLM to see what’s on offer.”

“With our previous set of pilots,customers submitted thousands of reviews within the first few days and more than 80 per cent of those reviews were 4 and 5 stars,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “We collaborated with some of the very best creators in Hollywood —and even some new comers that submitted their show through our open door process—to bring customers a wide array of top-quality shows. This season we have something for everyone with a mix of comedy, drama and kids programming—we can’t wait to hear what customers think.”

Customers can watch the pilots with the LOVEFiLM Instant app available on Kindle Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, as well as hundreds of other connected devices such as smart TVs. Customers can also visit to watch online. Viewer feedback will help determine which pilots Amazon Studios will produce into full series to air on Amazon’s LOVEFiLM in the UK and Prime Instant Video in the US.

Amazon Studios’ first pilots premiered in April of 2013 with eight comedy pilots and six kids pilots. Of the 14 pilots, Alpha House, Betas, Annesdroids, Creative Galaxy and Tumble Leaf were chosen, with the help of customer feedback, to be produced as series.

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