Amazon Picks 6 Comedy Pilots for First Slate of Shows

Amazon Studios will screen pilots from the creator of "Doonesbury" and a writer for "The Daily Show"

Amazon has selected six comedy pilots to launch its initial slate of original shows, including projects from “The Onion,” “Doonesbury” creator Gary Trudeau and David Javerbaum of “The Daily Show.”

Getty ImagesAmazon will post all six pilots on Amazon Instant Video, and will base its decision on whether to pick up the shows for full series based on viewer feedback. If viewers approve, the creatives will shoot full seasons that will then appear on Amazon’s subscription service, Amazon Prime, and on Amazon-owned Lovefilm in the U.K.

The prospective first slate includes “Alpha House,” a show about four U.S. senators who live together in a rented house. That comes from “Doonesbury” creator Trudeau.

“The Daily Show” writer Javerbaum and “30 Rock” director Don Scardino advanced with “Browsers,” a musical comedy following four young professionals.

“Big Bang Theory” co-stars Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie will make “Dark Minsions,” an animated series about two slackers.

“The Onion Presents: The News” will be a scripted comedy set at The Onion News Network, its own parody TV news show.

The two final shows are “Supanatural,” an animated comedy, and ‘Those Who Can’t,” a comedy found through Amazon Studios’ open submission process.

Amazon announced its intention to produce original episodic comedy and kids’ shows through its Amazon Studios in May, joining the ranks of Netflix, Hulu and others in making shows for digital distribution. Launched in 2010, Amazon Studios has also received more than 12,000 movie scripts though no projects have been finished.

“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,” Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, said in a statement.

“We want Amazon customers to help us decide which original series we should produce,” he added.