Amazon greenlights five original kids' series pilots

Amazon is buckling down on original programming

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
January 31, 2013
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I think everyone has learned a few things from the on-going Netflix saga—namely, that movie and TV studios are not super jazzed about the idea of cannibalizing their sales by handing over new releases to online streaming platforms. So what do you do? You create your own shows.

Last month, Amazon unveiled six new original sitcom ideas that will go into pilot production ASAP. Viewer feedback will then determine which series gets produced.

Now, Amazon is announcing that five children’s test pilots have been greenlit for production. So in all, Amazon has 11 pilots in production, and once completed, all will be posted on Amazon Instant Video where viewers can watch them for free. Then viewer feedback will determine which series get produced.

Producing an original children’s series makes perfect sense. As anyone with kids will tell you, Netflix and Amazon Prime are lifesavers. During Hurricane Sandy, Netflix usage doubled in many of the east coast cities where schools were closed for the day. Why? Because Mama needs to do some online shopping, so you and your brothers need to be quiet and watch Sesame Street for a little bit. (Having the Netflix app on your phone or tablet also comes in handy when you’re out at a restaurant and you need Junior to sit still for a couple of minutes.)

So having one or two original children’s series will be a guaranteed boost to Prime’s numbers.

“Production is already underway for the first set of comedy pilots we announced last month, and now we are excited to add even more pilots to the list—five amazing preschool children’s series,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios, in a statement. “Our children’s series come from industry luminaries with credits such as Blue’s Clues, Sid the Science Kid and Dino Dan. We think parents—and our very youngest customers—are going to love the magical combination of entertainment and learning that they’ll discover in these children’s series.”

The pilots include:

Creative Galaxy, an animated interactive art adventure series created by Angela Santomero, creator of Super Why and Blue’s Clues.

Oz Adventures, a series about Dorothy’s daughter Dot, who travels to Oz each day to solve problems with the other characters from The Wizard of Oz.

Teeny Tiny Dogs—this actually sounds adorable—is a show about small dogs trying to figure out the big world despite their small stature. The show was produced by the Jim Henson Company and created by Howard Baker of Rugrats fame.

Tumbleaf, a series created by Drew Hodges and stop-motion animation studio Bix Pix Studios. The series is about a blue fox named Fig who goes on adventures each day in a “whimsical land.”

And an untitled project by J.J. Johnson, formerly of Dino Dan and This is Emily Yeung. The series is about a young scientist named Anne who builds three robots who assist her in her experiments.

Hopefully these will be produced and posted soon, because I can’t take another episode of Caillou.


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