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Amazon Studios Crowdsourcing Comedy Series
© Image: Flickr.com / chris.huggins
editorial

Amazon Studios Crowdsourcing Comedy Series

Amazon Studios, the retailer’s film and TV series production offshoot, announced yesterday it is producing six new comedy series pilots for its Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service.

The comedies, which creators pitched to Amazon following an open call for submissions back in May, are competing for a shot at making a full season to air on Amazon, as well as LOVEFiLM (also a streaming service) in the U.K.

In addition to crowdsourcing the script proposals, Amazon is also letting the crowd judge which of the six pilots will be the one to go forward. It’s a sensible approach to making shows, one that takes the current approach (screening pilots to focus groups and studio executives) and lets the public at large have a greater say in what shows appeal to them.

It’s not yet clear, however, exactly how the crowd will be asked to participate. It may simply involve voting, or it could be a more involved, truly crowdsourced process (allowing suggestions for the winner’s future episodes, for example).

Here are the six proposed series:

Alpha House

Alpha House was written by Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury, Tanner ’88). Alpha House follows four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC.

Browsers

Written by 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and to be directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock), Browsers is a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website.

Dark Minions

Written by Big Bang Theory co-stars Kevin Sussman and John RossBowie, Dark Minions is an animated workplace series about two slackers just trying to make a paycheck working an intergalactic warship. The pilot will be produced by Principato-Young (Reno 911).

The Onion Presents: The News

The Onion Presents: The News is a smart, fast-paced scripted comedy set behind the scenes of The Onion News Network that shows just how far journalists will go to stay at the top of their game. The Onion Presents: The News is from The Onion’s Will Graham & Dan Mirk (The Onion News Network, The Onion Sportsdome).

Supanatural

Supanatural is an animated comedy series about two outspoken divas who are humanity's last line of defense against the supernatural, when they're not working at the mall. The series, written by Lily Sparks, Price Peterson and Ryan Sandoval, will be produced by Jason Micallef (Butter) and Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show).

Those Who Can’t

Written by Andrew Orvedahl, Adam Cayton-Holland and Benjamin Roy (Grawlix), who were discovered through Amazon Studios online open door process, Those Who Can’t is a comedy about three juvenile, misfit teachers who are just as immature, if not more so, than the students they teach.

While it’s hard to bet against The Onion when it comes to comic gold, don’t count out Trudeau’s show – the Doonesbury creator has been around the block for a while and has the accolades to back up his wit.

“We look forward to partnering with Amazon’s creative team," Trudeau said in a statement, "making a great show, and as the holidays approach, receiving free two-day shipping for the entire cast and crew."

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