6 posts tagged alpha house
6 posts tagged alpha house
Thanks for watching Amazon’s original pilots. Stay tuned to find out which shows are selected to return to Prime Instant Video with more episodes.
Best-selling author and journalist Jonathan Alter (The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies, The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope) explains what it has been like to go Hollywood and produce a pilot for Amazon – Alpha House, created by Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury). Alter explains the real-life roots of the show and what it was like to work with Trudeau, as well as with an amazing cast led by John Goodman. And those cameos! (Might there be more Stephen Colbert? Read on.)
For most of my life I’ve been a political animal. My mother was a politician in Chicago, I was an intern in the Senate and the White House in the 1970s, and for the last two decades I’ve written a column about politics (first for Newsweek, now for Bloomberg View), authored books about presidents and gabbed about the events of the day on NBC News and MSNBC. But becoming an accidental executive producer of a scripted TV series about politicians is a whole new experience for me. Actually, Alpha House is a new experience for everyone, given that we’re at the dawn of a new age of online television. It’s been ridiculously fun and my friends are insanely jealous.
I don’t honestly know how the idea for Alpha House started. Garry Trudeau hasn’t told me and he probably doesn’t know himself. As I learned in 1990 when I profiled him for Newsweek on the 20th anniversary of Doonesbury, Garry has all of these characters and bits of political and cultural news dancing in his head and he’s never sure where they will land.
After I wrote about him, Garry and I became friends and we developed a quadrennial ritual of traveling together to New Hampshire for the presidential primary. In January of 2012, I was reporting for my new book about the campaign and Garry seemed focused on his strip. Then at dinner one night in Manchester he casually mentioned he had been developing a project about four senators living in a man-cave on Capitol Hill, based on the real-life living arrangement of four Democratic legislators. He thought making them Republicans would be funnier. One thing led to another and the project took off.
All of the characters in Alpha House are original, though elements of the Republican senators played by John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, Mark Consuelos and (in a profane cameo) Bill Murray, can be found in the politicians of both parties that Garry has sometimes put in his comic strip. Political junkies will notice other details in the pilot that connect to the news. Future episodes (which will be produced if you tell Amazon you like the pilot) will have plenty more real stuff, filtered through Garry’s creative genius.
Following their Friday debut, the new Amazon Originals TV pilots from Amazon Studios were the most watched TV shows across Amazon Instant Video over the weekend, making up 8 out of 10 of the most streamed episodes across the video service. Already thousands of customer reviews have been submitted with 80% at ratings of 4 and 5 stars.
“For the past year the Amazon Studios team has collaborated with some of the best actors and writers in Hollywood to produce top-quality shows. Now we’ve handed the remote to our customers to hear what they think,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “In just a few days the pilots have received thousands of helpful and sometimes hilarious reviews. Keep the feedback coming—and help us decide which pilots will be turned into full series.”
Here’s a sampling of feedback from customers since the pilots’ launch:
“Just like in Zombieland, where there are no rules, Amazon is throwing out the rules of conventional television and bringing the power to the viewer,” said Rhett Reese, co-creator of the comedy Zombieland, along with Paul Wernick. Wernick adds, “It’s really exciting to be doing something different that has the potential to change the way this industry works.”
Comprehensive cast and crew information for each of the Amazon Originals pilots, including bios and filmographies, is available on Amazon’s IMDb.
Amazon Studios has an open door for creators, and continues to invite writers to submit their proposals for comedy and children’s programming.
Amazon Studios pilots have arrived, starring John Goodman (Argo), Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Bebe Neuwirth (Frasier) – and viewers, who will help decide which shows return with more episodes. TV fans are invited to watch comedies and children’s shows for free, and offer opinions about them, at amazonoriginals.com.
From Entertainment Weekly’s first look at Amazon Studios’ pilots in production:
“Both Netflix and Amazon have the electricity and the enthusiasm that only fans can produce and that’s what I love about it,” explains [Jeffrey] Tambor. “The fun is in the medium and the message.”