Amazon Pilots Inside Story: David Javerbaum on Browsers, Bebe, Music and More

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When the characters in Browsers feel something, they don’t just say it. You don’t just see it. They sing it. They even dance it. And they do it with such wit – almost like an 11-time Emmy award-winning writer for The Daily Show is putting words in their mouth.

And one is: David Javerbaum. He’s actually got a dozen Emmys, having picked up one for the song “Broadway: It’s Not Just For Gays Anymore,” which so memorably opened the 65th Tony Awards. And he’s also an author (The Last Testament: A Memoir By God; What to Expect When You’re Expected: A Fetus’ Guide to the First Three Trimesters).

Browsers, one of 14 Amazon original pilots now playing for free at Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM,  is about four interns at Gush, a content-aggregating website (a la The Huffington Post or The Daily Beast) founded and run by the charismatic but mysterious Julianna Mancuso-Bruni (Bebe Neuwirth). “The show pokes fun at modern workplaces, the media, and more specifically Gush — starting with its penchant for deriving most of its content by cutting and pasting material from other websites,” Javerbaum said.

We asked Javerbaum about the setting of Browsers, the terrific cast, and the challenges of mixing comedy and music.

Why this world, why these characters?

I’ve long considered The Huffington Post the quintessential cultural artifact of our time in terms of what it covers, how it covers it, and why it remains popular. It literally provides a window into the state of the world, and so I thought setting a show there and making the entirety of its universe fair game for our show — would provide an enormous amount of material.

As for the characters, as soon as I began formulating ideas for musical television shows, I knew I wanted the leads to be young people in their 20s, because that’s the age where you have the most energy, passion, uncertainty, and all that other good interesting quirky singable stuff. 

How does having music in the show adds to the experience/story?

The songs serve a different purpose here than they do in shows like Smash and Glee, not only because they are original, but because they are not “actually” happening. Rather, the songs are internal, taking place inside the character’s heads, meaning they are bound only by the laws of imagination and not by reality. 

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Goin' Viral - Constance Wu

Goin' Viral

by Constance Wu
album Amazon Originals "Browsers" Soundtrack [Explicit]

From the Amazon original pilot, Browsers, written by David Javerbaum. The music is by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne.

See more Amazon original comedies (several with free music) here.

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Amazon Studios Greenlights Six Original Series Pilots for Prime Instant Video

Amazon Studios today announced that it will be producing six original series pilots for Prime Instant Video. The comedy series were created by a mix of established writers such as Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury) and David Javerbaum (The Daily Show), as well as newcomers discovered via Amazon Studios’ open-door development process.

This marks the studios’ first pilot order since expanding into original series development earlier this year. The pilots will be shown to viewers on Amazon Instant Video in 2013, and viewer response will help determine which series move forward. Completed series will be exclusively available to members of Prime Instant Video and LOVEFiLM in the UK for free.

Amazon Studios logo“Since launching our original series development effort, we have received more than 2,000 series ideas from creators around the world, with all different backgrounds, and we are extremely excited to begin production on our very first set of shows,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “The six comedy series will begin production shortly, and once they are complete, we intend to post the pilots on Amazon Instant Video for feedback. We hope Amazon customers will help us decide which original series we should produce.”

And what do the series creators think?

“Amazon has been so innovative and successful in so many realms, it’s impossible not to get excited about its new venture into online programming,” said Trudeau, whose Amazon Studios series, Alpha House, is a D.C.-set comedy about lawmakers who live together. “We look forward to partnering with Amazon’s creative team, making a great show, and, as the holidays approach, receiving free two-day shipping for the entire cast and crew.”

The comedy series going into pilot production are:

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