Amazon Prime is taking a different route into original programming than most of the other newcomers to the arena. While Netflix and Hulu are working mostly on dramas, Prime has just given the greenlight to five new children’s programs. These are in addition to the six comedy pilots the service ordered not long ago, for a total of eleven new programs.
Prime will also take a different approach to determining which of the pilots go forward into series production – by actually letting the viewers decide. The novel approach will make all of the pilots available to Amazon customers to view, and based on the response, the company will choose the winners.
The five children’s pilots greenlighted today include one from Angela Santomero, the creator of Blue’s Clues and Super Why!. The pilot is called Creative Galaxy and is an interactive animated series that will use crafts, music, stories and dance to encourage creativity.
Another project, Oz Adventures, will take kids into the world of The Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy’s daughter Dot will be transported to a new magical location within Oz during each episode. Additionally, Dot will solve problems alongside characters from the beloved book and movie.
Teeny Tiny Dogs comes from Rugrats creator Howard Baker and is produced by The Jim Henson Company. As the name implies, the characters in the pilot are four tiny dogs who help each other navigate a world that doesn’t usually accommodate those of tiny stature. Butch, Butterfly, Dinky and Polly are the four characters who help teach kids about friendship and developing a sense of self.
The stop-motion animation pilot Tumbleaf follows a small blue fox by the name of Fig. He explores fantastical lands, has adventures, and finds new friends along the way. The project is intended to encourage cognitive reasoning and promote learning via exploration.
Finally, we have a science-based project from Dino Dan creator J.J. Johnson, which is untitled at the moment. It’s about a girl named Anne who builds three robots to assist her in scientific experiments, which she performs in her dad’s junkyard.
I’ll be on board to check out these new options, since I have a couple of viewers of the right age in my house. The opportunity to help Amazon decide which shows will go forward is a unique one, and I hope other parents to will check it out too – if only to prevent us from being stuck with another Caillou.