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In a conversation about the greatest television of the past 20 years, both The Office and How I Met Your Mother are bound to come up. While different types of comedy on different networks, both shows started around the same time and lasted 9 seasons with over 200 episodes between them. Now, those shows' creators are primed to repeat the same cycle, as each is looking to make their mark on television again with new comedy shows that just received pilot orders from Amazon.
For Greg Daniels, who found success where Britain failed in his American revival of The Office, he's looking ahead to the future. That's meant figuratively as well as literally, as his project Upload is teased by Variety to be a futuristic single camera comedy series. Beyond that, not much is known about the project beyond the fact that it's planned to be a half hour series should it get the green light series order from Amazon, and that if it's anything like The Office, people will tune in to watch it.
The project coming from How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas sounds a bit more familiar, as the pilot title Making Friends appears to tease the same group ensemble dynamic HIMYM thrived on. Even less is provided on this project, although it is known the series will shoot as a multi-camera comedy in the same way How I Met Your Mother was filmed. The casting for HIMYM was absolutely fantastic, so let's hope Bays and Thomas can pull together another exciting and talented group of actors with their new project.
Whether or not Upload or Making Friends will make it to Amazon's much-hyped pilot season remains to be seen, as Vice-President of Amazon Studios Roy Price indicated a couple weeks ago the company would like to see more top tier talent land on the service as opposed to Netflix. With Netflix more than ready to break the bank in order to secure the best content available, it would not be surprising if Amazon forgoes the audience approval and goes straight to series if they like what they see in these pilots. That said, the public announcement that a pilot has been ordered may indicate that even though Amazon said that, they may still plan to keep these projects on hold so that the public can see them first.
Hopefully Amazon orders a series out of at least one of these projects, as it would be a great win for streaming to see such television talent find a home there as opposed to traditional television. If nothing shakes out for Greg Daniels at Amazon, at least NBC seems more than eager to make something happen again with The Office. On the How I Met Your Mother front, it looks like a spinoff is even closer to happening than it was previously. Read more on those, or take a look at what's ahead for television with our fall premiere guide.