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56 posts tagged series

Customers Have Spoken: Amazon Greenlights Five Original Series

Four senators with the same address, four friends with the same Silicon Valley dream. A kid scientist  with robot helpers, an alien artist taking colorful journeys, and a whimsical fox searching for adventure. Comedy pilots Alpha House and Betas, along with kids’ pilots Annebots, Creative Galaxy and Tumbleaf, have been given the greenlight to begin production on a full series of episodes that will air exclusively on Prime Instant Video later this year and in early 2014.

Amazon and LOVEFiLM customers gave feedback that Amazon Studios used to decide which comedy and kids pilots should be made into Amazon’s first original series. 

“We are thrilled at the enthusiastic customer response to our first original pilots,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “We built Amazon Studios so that customers could help decide which stories would make the very best movies and TV shows. It’s exciting to see the process in motion, doing exactly what we set out to do. The success of this first set of pilots has given us the push to try this approach with even more shows—this is just the beginning.”

“We’re thrilled to have emerged safely from this harrowing exercise in online democracy,” said Garry Trudeau, Alpha House creator. “All of us at Alpha House thank both Amazon and its wise and wonderful customer base for such a happy outcome. As the future of episodic TV packs up and moves to Seattle, we hope the audience will continue to have as much fun watching the show as we have making it.”

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Creator Q and A: Lily Sparks, Price Peterson and Ryan Sandoval (Supanatural)

We asked Lily Sparks, Price Peterson and Ryan Sandoval, the creators of the Amazon original pilot Supanatural to tell us more about the show. They asked if we would accept answers in the form of GIFs. We said, “Spider, please!”

Supanatural is about two best friends who have dealt with supernatural phenomena for so long and so easily, that nowadays when some overwhelming horror like this happens

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their reaction is this

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Hezbah and Lucretia are not impressed by things you would consider to be your WORST NIGHTMARE. They handle demons, ghosts, and ghouls on the regular and frankly they’d rather just clear their DVR and gossip about slutty sorceresses they know. Unfortunately nobody in the world has their knowledge or experience when it comes to apocalyptic threats, so when push comes to shove our heroes WILL take care of business.

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Why this world, why these characters?

Because it’s the only world we know: A cold, hard world plagued by a nightmare-scape of hell monsters and sometimes the only fun is your friends. Like, you KNOW you have a rare talent or valuable skill, but that just makes it even harder when you’re wasting your days working a bad job surrounded by uncaring people. 

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90% of people spend 60 hours a week feeling like this:

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Right? The characters of Supanatural may have larger-than-life experiences, but they still gotta get to their crummy day jobs on time and make sure their rent check clears. In the real world we are all pretty much powerless against disasters, just passively sitting in our cubicles ‘liking’ a photo of a tornado on Facebook while eating a Cool Ranch Doritos Locos taco.  In Supanatural, our heroes can step outside of their daily frustrations and GET INVOLVED like

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Tell us about your awesome cast, and what they brought to the show:

Well Kristen Schaal was like

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and then Jameeliah Joy (Lucretia) was like

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Guest Post: Jonathan Alter on Garry Trudeau, Politics, and Going Hollywood with Alpha House

imageBest-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.

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