Amazon Studios Greenlights Comedies from 'The Daily Show,' 'Big Bang Theory' Talent

The two-year-old studio has given the greenlight to six original comedies from "30 Rock's" Kristen Schaal and "Doonesbury's" Garry Trudeau, among others.
Kristen Schaal

Amazon Studios is moving forward with six comedy pilots.

In its attempt to become a destination for original fare, the two-year-old studio's efforts hail from such producers as The Daily Show's Kristen Schaal, Doonesbury's Garry Trudeau and The Big Bang Theory's Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie. Once the pilots are completed, they will be posted on Amazon Instant Video for free viewing, where viewer feedback will help determine which series Amazon Studios ultimately will produce for Prime members. They join a growing development slate that currently houses 14 additional projects, which were either submitted through the studio's website or optioned for development.

“Since launching our original series development effort, we have received more than 2,000 series ideas from creators around the world with all different backgrounds, and we are extremely excited to begin production on our very first set of pilots. The six comedy pilots will begin production shortly, and once they are complete, we plan to post the pilots on Amazon Instant Video for feedback. We want Amazon customers to help us decide which original series we should produce,” noted director of Amazon Studios Roy Price, who joined the company earlier this spring, of the firm's crowd-sourcing strategy, which borrows from the open source philosophy that has produced results for Silicon Valley. 

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Added Trudeau, an Academy Award nominee who is penning Amazon's Alpha House pilot: "Amazon has been so innovative and successful in so many realms, it's impossible not to get excited about its new venture into online programming. We look forward to partnering with Amazon's creative team, making a great show, and as the holidays approach, receiving free two-day shipping for the entire cast and crew."

Alpha House will center on four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC. Also in series contention is Browsers, written by Emmy-winning comedy David Javerbaum (The Daily Show), a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website. 30 Rock's Don Scardino is set to direct.

The others:

Dark Minions, an animated workplace series from writers Sussman and Bowie and producer Principato-Young, about two slackers just trying to make a paycheck working an intergalactic warship. 

Supanatural, an animated comedy series from writers Lily Sparks, Price Peterson and Ryan Sandoval, which centers on two outspoken divas who are humanity's last line of defense against the supernatural, when they're not working at the mall. Jason Micallef (Butter) and Schaal will produce.

The Onion Presents: The News, from The Onion's Will Graham and Dan Mirk (The Onion News Network), is a 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. 

Those Who Can’t, penned by Andrew Orvedahl, Adam Cayton-Holland and Benjamin Roy (Grawlix), revolves around three juvenile, misfit teachers who are just as immature -- if not more so -- than the students they teach. The comedy entry was discovered through Amazon Studios' online open door process.