Online retailer Amazon is making a big push to develop original TV content a la Netflix, and they’ve debuted a slate of eight original comedy pilots on their streaming service Amazon Instant Video today. Unlike regular TV networks, who film a bunch of pilots but don’t let the public see them, Amazon is letting users see all of its pilots to decide which ones they will order to series based on viewer response. Here’s a list of the eight pilots screening on Amazon today and summaries from the web site so that you know what your options are:
Alpha HouseAlpha House was written by Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury, Tanner ‘88) and features John Goodman (Roseanne, Argo, Treme), Clark Johnson (The Wire), Matt Malloy (Six Feet Under, Law & Order), and Mark Consuelos (American Horror Story: Asylum, Guys with Kids). Alpha House follows four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC.BetasSet in the land of Silicon Valley start-ups, Betas, written by Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard, follows four friends as they attempt to strike it rich with a new mobile social networking app. Michael Lehmann (True Blood, Dexter) directed and produced the pilot along with Emmy Award winners Alan Freedland and Alan Cohen (King of the Hill), and Academy Award nominee Michael London (Sideways).BrowsersWritten by 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and 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 and features actress Bebe Neuwirth.Dark MinionsWritten by Big Bang Theory co-stars Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie, Dark Minions is an animated workplace series about two slackers just trying to make a paycheck, working on an intergalactic warship.Onion News EmpireOnion News Empire 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. Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Chris Masterson (Malcolm in the Middle), William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption), Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock) and Aja Naomi King (Damsels in Distress) star in the pilot.SupanaturalSupanatural 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 Underground, 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.ZombielandZombieland is based on the hit Columbia Pictures movie of the same name, and finds four survivors outwitting zombies and searching for a place to call home. The Zombieland pilot comes from the film’s original creative team, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Joe Schmo Show), and producer Gavin Polone (Gilmore Girls, Curb Your Enthusiasm).