July 31, 2013 6:00am PT by Michael O'Connell
Amazon Aims for Kids With Five Additional Pilot Orders
Amazon is upping its investment in younger viewers. Having already picked up five pilots to series, three of them in children's programming, Amazon Studios has ordered five more pilots -- this time targeting kids 6-11.
The streaming service is also sticking with its crowd-sourcing policy. Each of the five pilots, which includes one from a newcomer discovered by Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process, will be made available to Amazon Prime subscribers whose feedback will help determine which move on as series.
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“We're very excited to be able to introduce these five original ideas and their talented creators to Amazon customers," said Amazon Studios director Roy Price. "After the success of our first pilots, we look forward to getting lots more fantastic feedback from kids and parents. For the first time we are offering live-action and animated programming for older children and continuing with entertaining, educational, programming for preschool aged children -- it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
In May, Amazon ordered its first five series: comedies Alpha House and Betas, starring John Goodman and Ed Begley Jr. respectively, and children's series Annebots, Creative Galaxy and Tumbleaf. The next batch of pilots -- Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, Grid Smasher, Hard-Boiled Eggheads, The Jo B. & G. Raff Show and Wishenpoof! -- will screen on both Amazon Prime and LOVEFiLM in the U.K..
“I’ve been dreaming up funny adventures for Gortimer Gibbon for as long as I can remember, and it’s incredibly thrilling to be working with Amazon to bring these tales to life,” said David Anaxagoras, the creator of Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street, discovered by the submissions process. “With the unique open-door submission process that Amazon Studios offers writers like me, I’ve been given a chance to make my stories come to life. Instead of trying to ‘break through’ and get noticed in the traditional Hollywood process, Amazon has helped bring Hollywood to me and that’s exciting.”
Full details on the five pilots below:
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street is a live-action adventure show created by David Anaxagoras, a first-time writer, discovered through Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process. This pilot is a look at the lives of three quirky tweens who live in a surreal world of eccentric characters and strange happenings.
Grid Smasher offers viewers an innovative visual style with a mix of puppetry and CGI and was created by Emmy Award nominee Dan Clark (Team Smithereen, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). In Grid Smasher, Johnico and his team of rag-tag aliens compete to win the greatest game in the universe.
Hard-Boiled Eggheads, created by Emmy Award-winner Duane Capizzi (Transformers Prime, Jackie Chan Adventures, Men in Black: The Series, Darkwing Duck) is an animated action-comedy for children ages 6-11. The pilot features Miles and Quentin, classified special agents who set out to correct the mistakes of science -- monsters made of toxic waste, mutants born of lab accidents and the occasional hostile alien.
The Jo B. & G. Raff Show
The Jo B. & G. Raff Show is an animated series created by multiple Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Josh Selig (Sesame Street, The Wonder Pets, Oobi). In this pilot, two best friends, Jo B. and G. Raff, are hosts of their very own TV show, “The Jo B. G. Raff Show” but every day, just when their show is about to start filming, Jo B. realizes that G. Raff can’t be found anywhere. This pilot helps teach preschoolers the importance of compromise and how to meet in the middle to resolve disagreements.
Written by Angela Santomero, creator of Blue’s Clues, Creative Galaxy and the Emmy-nominated literacy series, Super Why, Wishenpoof! is an animated series that helps teach the essentials of problem solving, empathy and making good choices. The pilot revolves around Bianca, who is just like any other little girl—well, almost -- Bianca has “wish magic.” Bianca’s magical powers of wish magic let her make all kinds of wishes come true. This is Santomero’s second Amazon Studios pilot. Santomero’s first pilot, Creative Galaxy, is currently in production and scheduled to be available on Prime Instant Video and LOVEFiLM in early 2014.