Breaking with traditional methods, customers will determine which projects will move on to full season pickups
Amazon released the first trailer for its original pilot for “Zombieland: The Series” on Wednesday and the company is giving viewers the power to decide if the project will go on to a full season.
"Zombieland: The Series" comes from the team behind the 2009 feature film, which includes writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick with producer Gavin Polone. Eli Craig (“Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil”) directed the pilot.
Kirk Ward (“The Island”), Tyler Ross (“Milkshake”), Maiara Walsh (“Desperate Housewives”), and Izabela Vidovic play the film's original characters Tallahassee, Columbus, Wichita and Little Rock, respectively.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. “Zombieland: The Series” is just one of 14 original half-hour comedy and children's show pilots produced for Amazon Studios. And here's the kicker: The company wants viewers to watch and rate the pilots, which will then help determine which ones get picked up to series.
That's quite different from the way in which traditional TV programmers choose the pilots it will end up airing. They use a dizzying array of focus groups, executive decisions and, let's face it, star power and relationship preservation.
"Why follow the guru method when you don't have to anymore?" director of Amazon Studios, Roy Price, told the AP. "The audience is out there and the audience is interested. We might as well make them a partner in the process."
Paying members of Amazon Prime — the company's service that offers free shipping on Amazon orders, an e-book borrowing service and streaming movies and TV shows — or those who choose to pay a la carte can watch the pilots once they're completed and then rate them.
It's really a very forward thinking model (and one that saves the company the financial losses of producing, say, 13 episodes when the audience doesn't show up for a new series).
Additionally, Amazon Prime has all the advantages of other streaming sites like Hulu and Netflix when it comes to making the shows available to viewers whenever and on whatever device they want.
You can exercise your vote soon. “Zombieland: The Series” pilot will be available soon on Amazon Prime.
Watch the newly released trailer first, below.
Note: This post was updated to reflect the availability of the pilot.