Onion News Scripted Comedy Among The 6 Pilots In Production At Amazon Studios

By Kelly West 2012-12-20 10:52:26 discussion comments
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It's a great time of year to be an Amazon Prime subscriber. The included free two-day shipping perk for Prime-eligible items ensures a speedy delivery for gifts, which makes online shopping even easier and oftentimes more cost efficient than other methods of shopping. But fast shipping is only one of the things Prime subscribers get for their $79 a year. Also included is access to the Kindle Owner's Lending Library (for Kindle owners) and the Netflix-like streaming video service, which will soon include original programming.

Amazon has stood the test of time above other internet sites because it regularly adapts itself to meet the needs and desires of its customers. What was once an online bookstore now sells everything from electronics to food to furniture and a wide assortment of other goods, making it a virtual shopping mall in one site. Amazon has also branched out with its digital content over the years, including a vast library of eBooks to go with their eReader the Kindle, as well as digital music and streaming video, which is available to rent, purchase and through their subscription service Prime. Can you tell I'm an Amazon fan? As a long-time shopper at the site, I'm always eager to see what Amazon will bring next.

That brings us to today's news, which follows up on what we learned last spring. At that time, Amazon Studios was inviting submissions for proposals for new comedies and children's programming. Today, Amazon released the news that they have given the green light to six original series pilots for production. Among them, a scripted comedy set behind the scenes at the Onion News Network. There are some other familiar names among the pilots below, including Kristen Schaal and Jason Metcalf, who are producing Supanatural. Here's the list of projects moving forward.
Alpha House
Alpha House was written by Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury, Tanner í88). Alpha House follows four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC.††

Browsers
Written by 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and to be 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.

Dark Minions
Written 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 an intergalactic warship. The pilot will be produced by Principato-Young (Reno 911).

The Onion Presents: The News
The Onion Presents: The News 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. The Onion Presents: The News is from The Onionís Will Graham & Dan Mirk (The Onion News Network, The Onion Sportsdome).

Supanatural
Supanatural 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 Jason Micallef (Butter) and Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show).

Those Who Canít
Written by Andrew Orvedahl, Adam Cayton-Holland and Benjamin Roy (Grawlix), who were discovered through Amazon Studios online open door process, Those Who Canít is a comedy about three juvenile, misfit teachers who are just as immature, if not more so, than the students they teach.

The Onion project is not to be confused with The Onion News Network, the parody news program that originated as a webseries and moved over to IFC for a couple of seasons before being cancelled earlier this year. With that said, Onion fans will likely want to check out the pilot for the scripted comedy that's being developed.

Typically, when a network gives the greenlight for a pilot, there's no guarantee that we'll actually get to see the finished product. If it doesn't go to series, chances are, the pilot won't air. Exceptions are made there (the recent Mockingbird Lane broadcast is one example). But Amazon's doing things a little differently. Once the pilots are done, Amazon will make them available for free via Amazon Instant Video. Viewer feedback will then help determine which series Amazon Studios will produce, after which the completed seasons will be made available to Prime members through Prime Instant Video and LOVEFiLM in the UK.

Of course, Amazon's announcement says feedback will "help" determine, which likely implies that they'll get the final say. Still, bringing viewers in on the decision is a great idea.
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