Amazon Set To Develop Original TV Content

By May 3, 2012

Amazon announced today that it will begin developing original television series to be distributed through its Amazon Instant Video service. In the press release Amazon specified that it’s looking for comedy and children’s series proposals to develop in the coming months.

The company has created a website where writers and producers can submit their proposals directly to Amazon Studios, which is looking for “smart, character-driven series, 22-minute primetime comedy, [and] 11- or 22-minute series for children 2-14.” Writers must submit a pilot script of 36 or 54 pages maximum, depending on the length of the program.

Amazon Studios' series approval process

Once Amazon has decided which television shows it will pursue, the series’ creator will receive $10,000 and an additional $55,000 if the show continues production beyond the pilot episode. The company is even hosting a contest for 60 second promos made to showcase any of the shows it selects, where the most intriguing advertisements will win a portion of a $7,000 prize total. In the press release, Amazon stated that it intends to select one proposal to develop each month.

Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, hopes their novel approach to acquiring content will bring new and exciting shows to viewers.

Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love. In the course of developing movies, we’ve heard a lot of interest from content creators who want to develop original series in the comedy and children’s genres. We are excited to bring writers, animators and directors this new opportunity to develop original series.

The move to producing original content is no doubt a response to Netflix’s new lineup of exclusive shows, including Lilyhammer, which debuted earlier this year, and its forthcoming revival of the hit comedy show Arrested Development. This seems to just be the beginning of a fierce battle between the video streaming services, but a war waged over the attention of customers can mean only one thing: whatever the outcome we’re the real winners.

Corey Cummings

Corey is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he received degrees in English and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Chicago and enjoys alternately obsessing over video games that aren't out yet and crazy gadgets he can't afford.