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Amazon Studios, the video production arm of online retail giant Amazon, has just approved production on pilot episodes for two separate original drama series, the company announced today.
The new pilots are part of Amazon’s overall strategy to make its Prime Instant Video service competitive with Netflix and Hulu Plus — both of which are also producing their own original shows. The Prime Video service is basically a perk for those that subscribe to the company’s annual Prime memberships, which offer customers low cost (“free”) 2-day shipping on lots of goods and help increase the number of sales people make via the retail site.
Amazon previously approved a slew of comedy pilots (many of which were later approved for full seasons) as well as a line of shows geared towards children.
The new approved pilots are for police drama Bosch based on the novel series by author Michael Connelly, and sci-fi drama The After from X-Files’ Chris Carter. These seem like pretty safe bets, at least in terms of genres. Police/courtroom procedural shows are immensely popular on all the major broadcast TV networks, and a good sci-fi show can garner a very loyal fan base.
Like Amazon’s other pilots, the company will make the episodes available for viewing to everyone via is Prime Instant Video service. Viewers will be invited to rate and comment on the show, which will then help Amazon determine if it wants to move forward on a full season. If the show does get developed, you’ll need to sign up for an annual Prime membership to gain access.
We’ve pasted descriptions of both the new pilots from Amazon below.
Based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series and written by Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, 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 will be played by Titus Welliver (Argo, The Good Wife) and the pilot will also star Annie Wersching, Amy Price-Francis and Jamie Hector. Henrik Bastin of Fabrik Entertainment (The Killing) is producing and Jim McKay will direct.
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. Sharon Lawrence, Jamie Kennedy, Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar and Louise Monot will star.