Amazon Studios New Original Comedy, Drama and Kids Pilots Debut with Rave Reviews from Customers and Critics

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

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February 13th, 2014

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via press release:

Amazon Studios New Original Comedy, Drama and Kids Pilots Debut with Rave Reviews from Customers and Critics 

Thousands of customer reviews have been submitted in just one week, with more than 85% at four and five star ratings

Amazon Instant Video saw the average number of streams per show increase by more than 100% for prime time pilots and 200% for kids shows versus first pilot season

Critics love the pilots: “After watching the full line-up, it’s clear that Netflix is no longer the only game in town” – The Verge

SEATTLE—Feb. 13, 2014—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—

“Smart and Compelling”
“WOW! This is such a great pilot!”
“Adorable and Smart”
“Amazing, I must watch more”
“Can’t wait for more!”
“I want to see another episode ASAP”
“Well done! We need more programming like this”

…and the customer reviews are still rolling in. In just one week since their debut, Amazon Studios’ new original pilots have quickly become fan favorites garnering rave reviews from thousands of customers. More than 85% of ratings are 4 or 5 stars, and critics are calling the pilots “fresh” and “the best pilot in years.” In addition, Amazon Instant Video saw more than a 100% increase in the average number of streams per show for prime time pilots and a 200% increase for kid’s pilots per show versus last year’s pilot season.

All 10 pilots are currently available for any customer to view, rate and provide feedback on, ultimately helping determine which shows will become full series. The pilots are available to watch exclusively at www.amazonoriginals.com and on the Amazon Instant Video app for Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, as well as hundreds of other connected devices.

“Our goal is to create shows that customers will love and we couldn’t be more pleased with the feedback we’ve received so far,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “It’s great to see our customers reacting so passionately towards these pilots. The dramatic increase in the average number of streams for our prime time and kid’s pilots tells us we’re on the right path in creating shows our customers want to watch. If you haven’t watched them yet, don’t miss your opportunity to help determine which ones will become full series.”

Here’s what the critics are saying:

“Amazon's pilot season is back, and this time its bringing shows that have Netflix in the center of its crosshairs.” – Joan Solsman, CNET

(Mozart in the Jungle) Classical music finally gets its own Kitchen Confidential in this comedy based on Blair Tindall’s memoir. It’s sort of like Smash, except simultaneously more authentic and much funnier. And Lola Kirke — sister of Girls star Jemima — makes an appealing heroine.” – Dalton Ross, Entertainment Weekly

“This year's batch of brand new pilots from Amazon Studios just went live, and there are surprising numbers of stars in the mix. From a drug-laced drama about classical music with Gael Garcia-Bernal to a dysfunctional family comedy with Jeffrey Tambor (wait that sounds familiar), there's something for everybody.” - Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo

 

“I watch a lot of TV pilots, and here's the biggest question I had after watching "The After," a new Amazon show from "X-Files" creator Chris Carter. Why didn't a cable or broadcast network make this show? It's certainly better than a lot of the one-hour programs the broadcast networks have debuted in the last year or two, and the first hour of Carter's new project as good as or better than a fair number of cable pilots.” – Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post.com

 

On Transparent: “The show has authenticity and specificity. The family is immediately recognizable as a very true-to-life nominally Jewish, L.A.-bred, casually super-affluent clan. By the episode’s last act … I was already completely invested in the characters … Transparent already has me addicted.” – Willa Paskin, Slate

On Bosch: “As a longtime fan of the 18 novels about the hard-boiled Los Angeles homicide detective, I would say: Nailed it.Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

 

“Transparent is my favorite pilot in years, and by a lot.” – Margaret Lyons, Vulture

“Running the gamut from dark comedy to noir to the latest from X-Files mastermind Chris Carter, the emphasis is almost entirely on mature, dramatic subject matter — and after watching the full line-up, it’s clear that Netflix is no longer the only game in town.”Bryan Bishop, The Verge

 

Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street: There’s something enjoyably old-fashioned about this live-action series in which the eponymous Gortimer (along with friends Ranger and Mel) find adventures at the end of their street. It’s corny, true, but strangely charming because of that. It feels like something you might have watched growing up…” – Graeme McMillan, WIRED

 

Here’s what customers are saying:

 

Prime Time Pilots

 

The After: “This is binge watch material for sure. Hope Amazon has the smarts to pick it up because I'm sure I'm not the only one who want MORE MORE!”

 

Bosch: “But you don't have to know anything about the novels to enjoy this high-quality police procedural. The writing is clever, the story is gripping, and the acting is top-notch. Just as New York City was a main character in the original Law & Order, the portrayal of Los Angeles is utterly authentic. More please!”

 

Mozart in the Jungle: “Brilliant acting. Love seeing this kind of dark, flashy nuttiness set in the classical music world. Excellent dialogue and acting. Also love the NYC setting. Hope it gets picked up!”

The Rebels: “Great show full of promise.  Really enjoyed the fun, frenetically-paced first episode. Keeps the dream alive for LA to actually HAVE a football team! It has great pacing and funny characters, very goofy and I would expect that you'd only like it more as it has time to develop the characters and storyline, I want to see more... “

Transparent: “Groundbreaking. This show has heart, humor, edge and amazing work done by everyone. A leap into uncharted series waters that not only takes us into a unique experience, but also charts a path that entertains, engages, engrosses and enlightens. Check it out.”

Kid’s Pilots

Gortimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street : “Great family programming. Finally! A show you can watch and enjoy with all ages. Gortimer Gibbons captures the essence of childhood summers, with all of summer's adventures and friendship. There is enough dramatic tension to move the story forward, but not so much that the kids run from the room. It speaks directly to the kid in all of us, while not talking down to the actual kids in the room. A wonderful show! We want to see Gortimer and friends in more adventures!”

 

Hardboiled Eggheads: “Super cool show!!!! Great plot and interesting characters! Hope this keeps being produced! One episode is just not enough”

The Jo B. and G. Raff Show:  “Just loved it! What a super cute show!! My 2.5 year old loved it and keeps asking to see it again. I appreciate the positive message, delivered with just enough humor to keep parents engaged as well. A beautiful piece of animation… can't wait to see more from Jo B. and G. Raff!”

Maker Shack Agency:  “Finally a kid’s show with some integrity! Loved it from START TO FINISH!! The actors feel fresh and the story is something unlike anything on TV now! I can't remember laughing this hard during a kid's show since the old Nick shows I loved as a kid. I also love that you have a girl lead in a science show! What a great message to young girls and how topical. The girl who plays Jo is a star for sure and would love to see more of her.”

Wishenpoof: “My child loved this film and watched it from beginning to end. I think she was in love with the music and the animation as soon as it went out off she reached for the mouse to watch it again and cried when I told her there was only one episode.”

How to Watch

Customers can watch the pilots with the Amazon Instant Video app available on Kindle Fire tablets, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, as well as hundreds of other connected devices such as smart TVs. Customers can also visit Amazon.com to watch online. Viewer feedback will help determine which pilots Amazon Studios will produce into full series to air on Prime Instant Video.

 

Prime Time Pilots

 

The After

Written and directed by Emmy-nominee Chris Carter (The X-Files) executive produced by Marc Rosen of Georgeville Television and produced by Gabe Rotter, The After follows eight strangers who are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation. Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jamie Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar, and Louise Monot star in the pilot.

 

Bosch

Based on Michael Connelly's best-selling Harry Bosch series and written by Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, drama pilot Bosch follows a relentless LAPD homicide detective as he pursues the killer of a 13-year-old boy while standing trial in federal court on accusations that he murdered a suspected serial killer in cold blood. Bosch is played by Titus Welliver (Argo, The Good Wife) and stars Annie Wersching, Amy Price-Francis and Jamie Hector. Henrik Bastin of Fabrik Entertainment (The Killing) produced and Jim McKay directed the pilot.

 

Mozart in the Jungle

Dramatic comedy, Mozart in the Jungle was written by Oscar-nominated writer and director Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited), actor and musician Jason Schwartzman (Saving Mr. Banks, Moonrise Kingdom, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and Tony-nominated writer and director Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher). The project is based on the memoir Mozart in the Jungle by Blair Tindall. Mozart in the Jungle is all about sex, drugs—and classical music—and shows that what happens behind the curtains at the symphony can be just as captivating as what happens on stage. Paul Weitz (About a Boy, Admission) directed the pilot and executive produced. Gael Garcia Bernal, Saffron Burrows, Lola Kirke, Malcom McDowell, Bernadette Peters and Peter Vack star.

 

The Rebels

Written by Jeremy Garelick and Jon Weinbach, sports comedy The Rebels follows Julie Levine (Natalie Zea) after her husband suddenly dies and leaves her as the sole owner of a pro-football team. The Rebels creative team also includes executive producer, Matt Alvarez (Ride Along), musician and actor Ice Cube and Michael Strahan, former football player for the New York Giants and host of Live with Kelly and Michael.

 

Transparent

Written and directed by Emmy-nominee and 2013 Sundance Best Director winner Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight, Six Feet Under and United States Of Tara), Transparent is a darkly comedic story about an LA family with serious boundary issues. In this exploration of sex, memory, gender and legacy, the past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone's secrets to spill out. Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass star in the pilot.

 

 

Kids Pilots

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. Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street is a coming-of-age tale that centers around Gortimer, his two best friends Ranger and Mel, and their exploits on Normal Street —an ordinary suburb that has a hint of something magical just beneath the surface. The pilot was directed by Oscar winner Luke Matheny (God of Love, Maron) and guest stars Fionnula Flanagan.

 

Hardboiled Eggheads

Hardboiled Eggheads, created by Emmy Award-winner Duane Capizzi (Transformers Prime, Jackie Chan Adventures, Men in Black: The Series) is an animated action-comedy for children ages 6-

11. The ultra-precocious bespectacled Kelvin and Miles may look, dress, and speak like typical nerds, but when these two  brainiacs suit up in their high-collared white lab coats and protective goggles to battle monsters born of toxic waste, martians lured to Earth, or even killer vegetables, they don’t look and sound so nerdy anymore.

 

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 (The Wonder Pets). Created specifically to help teach preschoolers the importance of resolving conflict in constructive ways, The Jo B. & G. Raff Show follows two best friends, Jo B. and G. Raff, hosts of their very own TV show. Each day, just as their show is about to start, Jo B. realizes G. Raff has gone somewhere new and exciting and needs to go find him. Jo B. travels to get G. Raff, but G. Raff always wants to stay and explore. The two friends end up reaching a compromise and singing, “If I give a little and you give a little, together we can meet in the middle!”

 

Maker Shack Agency

Maker Shack Agency takes a unique look at the “maker” movement through the adventures of Wolfie, a 13-year-old inventor with grand idea and a motto of “fail forward.” Together with his friends Merle, a tech wizard, and Jo, a girl who can build anything, they create gadgets to help fellow classmates. Wolfie, Merle and Jo use all the branches of science and personal ingenuity to solve problems with a new invention in every episode. Created in conjunction with the think tank Applied Minds and the production company Electus, the pilot was written by Arland DiGirolamo (Sketchy), Geoff Barbanell (Kickin’ It) and directed by Alex Winter (Ben 10, Downloaded) and features original music from Dr. Dog.

 

Wishenpoof!

Written by Angela Santomero, creator of Blue’s Clues, Creative Galaxy, and the Emmy-nominated literacy series, Super Why!, Wishenpoof! is an animated pilot that revolves around Bianca, who has “wish magic” which means if she wishes to play under the sea then— Wishenpoof! — she’s a mermaid, swimming around with the sea horses. Bianca uses her wish magic to help others and learns to solve life’s problems in her own creative way because with magic, or without, we all have the power to make good choices. 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 in 2014.

 

About Amazon Studios

Since its launch in November 2010, more than 20,000 movie scripts and 6,000 series projects have been submitted to Amazon Studios. The original series announced today are the second set of series pilots for Amazon Studios.

 

Amazon Studios continues to invite series creators to upload their proposals for comedy and children’s programming at http://studios.amazon.com/getting-started/series or submit them privately via Amazon Studios.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle Paperwhite is the world’s best-selling and most advanced e-reader. It features new display technology with higher contrast, the next generation built-in light, a faster processor, the latest Touch technology, and exclusive new features designed from the ground up for readers. Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, features improved fonts and faster page turns. The new Kindle Fire HDX features a stunning exclusive 7” or 8.9” HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2x more memory, and 11 hours of battery life, as well as exclusive new features of Fire OS 3.0 including X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. The all-new Kindle Fire HD includes an HD display, high-performance processor and dual speakers at a breakthrough price.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, www.amazon.es, www.amazon.com.br, www.amazon.in, www.amazon.com.mx, and www.amazon.com.au. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment and data center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

 
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