New shows focus on mutants, puppets and magic
Kids with magical powers, mutant-fighting special agents and a rag-tag group of aliens are coming to Amazon.
Amazon Studios announced Wednesday that it will produce five original pilots for kids, which will be available to users of Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM in the U.K.
The shows include "Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street," a live-action adventure show focused on a group of tweens who live in a surreal world; "Grid Smasher," the latest creation of Dan Clark ("Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"), which focuses on extraterrestrial games; and an animated series called "The Jo B. & G. Raff Show."
The other shows include "Wishenpoof!," which focuses on a young girl with the ability to make wishes, and "Hard-Boiled Eggheads," an action-comedy in the vein of "Men in Black" that follows two agents tasked with cracking down on various monsters. Many of these programs are from established talents like Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Josh Selig ("Sesame Street") and Emmy Award-winner Duane Capizzi ("Transformers Prime").
Amazon's move into production is in keeping with the strategies of other major streaming companies like Hulu and Netflix. Original programming is seen as critically important way to differentiate a service in the crowded online video space.
Amazon unveiled its first slate of pilots last spring, but most of them such as the John Goodman comedy "Alpha House," were aimed at adults.
“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," Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, said in a statement.