Amazon Studios expands into TV series, looks to load up on content for streaming

Amazon has had a content development division for some time but today it's announced plans to expand from just movies to developing (and distributing, via its Instant Video service) original comedy and children's series. The new focus follows the competition like Netflix and Hulu which have both dived headlong into developing original TV show-style content that mirrors the content consumers seem to gravitate towards on streaming services. According to the press release Amazon Studios is willing to option one "promising project" per month for $10k and pay $55k to a creator if their series is selected for distribution. Submissions of 22-minute pilot scripts for comedies and 11-minute pilot scripts for children's shows are being accepted, which Amazon will either option within 45 days or the creator can choose between pulling it back and leaving it up for community feedback. There's more info at the site or in the press release after the break, but just remember: if we see any series picked up about dashingly handsome tech bloggers and the fast-paced lives they lead, we're coming for our cut.

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May 02, 2012 11:32 AM Eastern Daylight Time
Amazon Studios to Develop Original Comedy and Children's Series for Amazon Instant Video

Writers, animators and filmmakers around the world are now invited to submit comedic and children's series proposals

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--(NASDAQ:AMZN)-Amazon.com, Inc. today announced that Amazon Studios is expanding its development efforts into comedy and children's series. Amazon Studios is Amazon's content development division that uses audience feedback to identify great, original entertainment customers will love. Starting today, series creators are invited to upload their proposals for comedy and children's programming to Amazon Studios at http://studios.amazon.com/getting-started/series. The best comedy and children's series will be distributed through Amazon Instant Video, Amazon's digital video streaming service.

"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."

"Amazon Studios wants to discover great talent and produce programming that audiences will love," said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. "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."

Each month, Amazon Studios intends to option one promising new project and add it to the development slate where it will be tested for viability with an audience. If Amazon Studios elects to distribute a full-budget series, the creator will receive a $55,000 payment, up to 5 percent of Amazon's net receipts from toy and t-shirt licensing, and other royalties and bonuses. Amazon Studios' production company, the People's Production Company, is signatory to the Writers Guild of America and to The Animation Guild, Local 839.

To submit, a project must have a five-page description, along with a 22-minute pilot script for comedies, or an 11-minute pilot script for children's shows. Within 45 days of submission, Amazon Studios will either extend an option on the project for $10,000 or invite the creator to add the project to the Amazon Studios site. If a project is not optioned, creators may remove their idea from the Amazon Studios site or leave it to get community feedback.

Amazon Studios new series development is led by Joe Lewis, previously with 20th Century Fox and Comedy Central, and Tara Sorensen, formerly with National Geographic Kids.

Amazon Studios launched in November 2010. Since then, more than 700 test movies and 7,000 scripts have been submitted and 15 movie projects are currently under development. For more information about Amazon Studios, visit http://studios.amazon.com. Follow the Amazon Studios blog, Hollywonk (http://www.hollywonk.com) for up-to-date news, tips on filmmaking and writing or insightful interviews with industry leaders.