Amazon’s plans to develop a fledgling range of original content has taken an important step forward, after the American retail specialists announced after a month of hosting free pilot episodes on their Instant Video and LoveFilm platforms (depending on market), which of the 14 shows will be continuing with new episodes.
Of the shortlist, Amazon claimed they picked up the 5 chosen to series on account of viewer feedback as promised (a process which already put pay to the planned ‘TV adaptation’ of 2009 survival comedy film Zombieland), with the selection headlined by John Goodman-led political sitcom Alpha House.
The series sees Goodman (Roseanne, Monsters Inc.) star as one of ‘four misfit senators’ that share a house together in Washington DC, a trailer for which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Adding to Amazon’s slate is a Silicon Valley-based sitcom, ironically called Betas, and with those two being the only adult shows recruited by Amazon, you can’t help but feel many of the future pitches proposed to the site will include the words ‘Gamma’ or ‘Delta’ in the title, just to see how far the joke can be taken.
Sitcoms with Ancient Greek naming inspirations were not the only programmes chosen in the pick-up, though, with Amazon also confirming children’s series Annebots, Creative Galaxy, and Tumbleaf.
Amazon Studios director Roy Price summarised: “We are thrilled at the enthusiastic customer response to our first original pilots. We built Amazon Studios so that customers could help decide which stories would make the very best movies and TV shows. It’s exciting to see the process in motion, doing exactly what we set out to do. The success of this first set of pilots has given us the push to try this approach with even more shows. This is just the beginning.”
Price added that the 5 shows chosen are far from their last (despite dismissing the other 9 pilots of the inaugural process), claiming that they will repeat the ‘free trial’ idea for a new range of ‘original pilots’ in ‘the near future’. For the inaugural selection, though, Amazon viewers can expect to see premieres between late 2013 and early 2014, but will the new exclusive content be the big attraction that Amazon are banking on for their video streaming services?