Internet retailer expands originals initiative with titles geared to children 6 to 11
Amazon Studios is delving into more kid stuff following its pilot-bakeoff this spring, announcing it will produce five more original pilots for kids including the first ones for children aged 6 to 11.
The pilots — a mix of live-action and animated shows — come from four established kidvid showrunners as well as a newcomer Amazon found through its over-the-transom development process. The pilots will be available free to watch on Amazon Instant Video in the U.S. and the LoveFilm service in the U.K., and the company will use viewer feedback to help decide which shows should be produced as series.
Pilots join three other kids’ shows — “Annebots,” “Creative Galaxy” and “Tumbleaf” — already in full-series production. Amazon Studios’ first pilots launched in April 2013 with eight comedy pilots and six kidvid pilots. Of those the Internet company picked five for full runs, incorporating viewer feedback. Skeins will stream on Prime Instant Video later this year and in early 2014.
“For the first time we are offering live-action and animated programming for older children and continuing with entertaining, educational, programming for preschool-aged children — it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Amazon Studios director Roy Price said in announcing the new pilots.
With the deeper investment in original content, Amazon is going head-to-head with other online services creating Internet-only content — chiefly Netflix and Hulu, which are both upping their originals activity.
Amazon Studios did not say how many of the five it may choose to turn into full series.
SEE ALSO: Amazon Greenlights Five Original Series
The five kids’ shows for Amazon Studios’ next pilot season are:
- “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street,” live-action adventure show created by David Anaxagoras, a first-time writer discovered through Amazon Studios’ open submission process;
- “Grid Smasher,” show mixing puppetry and CGI created by Dan Clark, whose credits include “Yo Gabba Gabba!” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”;
- “Hard-Boiled Eggheads,” animated action-comedy from Duane Capizzi (“Transformers Prime,” “Men in Black: The Series,” “Darkwing Duck”);
- “The Jo B. & G. Raff Show” animated series from writer-producer Josh Selig (creator of “The Wonder Pets” and “Oobi”); and
- “Wishenpoof!”, about a girl with magical powers, written by Angela Santomero, co-creator of “Blue’s Clues” and “Super Why!”
Amazon Studios is producing Santomero’s first pilot, “Creative Galaxy,” scheduled to be available on Prime Instant Video and LoveFilm in early 2014.
“Working through the pilot process with Amazon Studios has been a fantastic experience,” Selig said in a statement. “We are so excited to hear what Amazon parents and kids think of our show.”
Amazon Studios, formed in November 2010, has received 18,000-plus movie scripts and 4,000 series projects. Of those, it currently has 26 movies and 24 series on its development slate.
Last month, digital studio launched a storyboarding tool — Amazon Storyteller — which lets scribes create storyboards by first uploading their script to Amazon Studios. Once a storyboard is published, Amazon takes a 45-day option on the project to decide if it should be added to its development slate after which rights return to creator.