Amazon Studios — the content production arm of Amazon — is planning to create five new original TV show pilot episodes targeted at children, the company announced today.
The move is part of Amazon’s effort to make its Prime Instant video service more attractive than competing services like Netflix and Hulu Plus — both of which have access to a very large library of children’s content. And as for Netflix, it’s also building a library of exclusive kids shows through a partnership with DreamWorks Animation that will bring TurboFAST, among others, to its streaming network.
And why does Amazon want to chase after popular children’s content? Well, it’s a pretty easy sell to the parents of those kids to pay for a $79 annual Prime membership if it gives them access to all the shows kids want to watch. And parents who buy into that Prime Membership are likely to be more loyal Amazon customers (aka buying more stuff via Amazon’s online store). It’s part of Amazon’s complex overall strategy to grow the business.
Just like the last round of original children’s shows produced back in January, Amazon has ordered five pilot episodes, which it will make available for free to both paying Prime members and the general public. People can then vote on and rate these shows, and based on the feedback, Amazon will decide which shows will get a full season.
We’ve pasted the descriptions for the five new original shows below:
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. This pilot is a look at the lives of three quirky tweens who live in a surreal world of eccentric characters and strange happenings.
Grid Smasher offers viewers an innovative visual style with a mix of puppetry and CGI and was created by Emmy Award nominee Dan Clark (Team Smithereen, Yo Gabba Gabba!, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). In Grid Smasher, Johnico and his team of rag-tag aliens compete to win the greatest game in the universe.
Hard-Boiled Eggheads, created by Emmy Award-winner Duane Capizzi (Transformers Prime, Jackie Chan Adventures, Men in Black: The Series, Darkwing Duck) is an animated action-comedy for children ages 6-11. The pilot features Miles and Quentin, classified special agents who set out to correct the mistakes of science—monsters made of toxic waste, mutants born of lab accidents and the occasional hostile alien.
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 (Sesame Street, The Wonder Pets, Oobi). In this pilot, two best friends, Jo B. and G. Raff, are hosts of their very own TV show, “The Jo B. G. Raff Show” but every day, just when their show is about to start filming, Jo B. realizes that G. Raff can’t be found anywhere. This pilot helps teach preschoolers the importance of compromise and how to meet in the middle to resolve disagreements.
Written by Angela Santomero, creator of Blue’s Clues, Creative Galaxy, and the Emmy-nominated literacy series, Super Why, Wishenpoof! is an animated series that helps teach the essentials of problem solving, empathy and making good choices. The pilot revolves around Bianca, who is just like any other little girl—well, almost—Bianca has “wish magic.” Bianca’s magical powers of wish magic let her make all kinds of wishes come true. 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 and LOVEFiLM in early 2014.