John Goodman and Silicon Valley sitcoms win full series as Amazon and Lovefilm promise more public airings for original TV show pilots.
Amazon has picked five comedy and children’s TV shows to graduate to full seasons a month after putting 14 pilot episodes online for free.
Alpha House, starring John Goodman, and Silicon Valley startup story Betas, won the comedy commissions alongside kids’ shows Annebots, Creative Galaxy and Tumbleaf.
“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.”
Political comedy Alpha House starred Goodman as one of four US senators sharing a Washington DC lodging, and enjoyed a cameo from Bill Murray.
Betas follows the staff of a Silicon Valley social media startup attempting to land a big investor, and also featured a celebrity cameo from musician Moby.
They beat six other comedy pilots, including a hotly-tipped TV spin-off from hit movie Zombieland, which fell victim to a vehement a string of bad reviews from fans of the original, compounded by poor numbers of viewers who stuck through the full episode.
“We’re thrilled to have emerged safely from this harrowing exercise in online democracy,” said Garry Trudeau, Alpha House creator, tongue lodged deeply in cheek. “All of us at Alpha House thank both Amazon and its wise and wonderful customer base for such a happy outcome.”
Full seasons of Alpha House and Betas will arrive on Lovefilm in the UK, and Stateside on Amazon Instant Video, later this year or in early 2014, alongside the other winners.
Would-be showrunners who would like Amazon Studios to take a look at their ideas for comedy or children’s shows can upload proposals or submit them privately.
Amazon Studios has 24 movies in development, and in less than three years has received more than 15,000 movie scripts and 3,600 series pilot scripts.