Amazon rolled out 10 new pilot shows in the United States and Britain
Building on its first foray into original programming, Amazon rolled out 10 new pilot shows in the United States and Britain on Thursday and invited customers to judge which ones should go into production. The sampling includes two
hour-long dramas, including one from the co-creator of the 1990s cult sci-fi series "The X-Files," plus three comedies and five shows for kids as young as six.
The pilots are free to view for Amazon Prime subscribers, who are "encouraged to watch and provide feedback ... to help determine which shows should be made into series," said Amazon in a statement.
Amazon joined the rush to online television last year with the political comedy "Alpha House" and Silicon Valley sitcom "Betas," to be followed in the coming weeks by a triplet of children's series.
It selected those five shows on the basis of feedback from its customers -- harnessing the concept of Internet crowd-sourcing to determine where it should put its production dollars.
In the running this year are "The After," a dystopian thriller from "The X-Files" co-creator Chris Carter, and "The Bosch," a police drama set in Los Angeles and based on crime novelist Michael Connelly's best-sellers.
Comedies include "Mozart in the Jungle" from Oscar nominee Roman Coppola, director Jill Soloway's "Transparent," about a California family "with serious boundary issues," and "The Rebels," featuring a widow who inherits her husband's American pro football team.
Notable among the children's pilots is "Maker Shack Agency," about a 13-year-old inventor named Wolfie who creates gadgets to help his fellow classmates.
Since launching its Amazon Studios department in November 2010, the world's leading online retailer has received more than 20,000 movie scripts and 6,000 series projects for consideration.
Netflix, its rival in the growing market for streaming films and TV off the Internet, made waves last year when it released all 13 episodes of "House of Cards" in one go in March 2013.
It will do so again on February 14 when season two of the political drama starring Kevin Spacey premieres.