Amazon: The Sitcom(s)

Amazon PrimeWhat’s the difference between a bookstore and TV channel? Sounds like a riddle for a time traveler. Little more than a decade ago, Amazon started to pulverize the book business. Now, just about anybody with a computer or a mobile device (that would be, just about everybody) thinks about Amazon as the first stop for books. And music. And just about every other common retail item.

And now, Amazon is beginning its assault on (not sure whether to call it television, but let’s go with television for now). Here come the first six sitcoms from Amazon Studios, all intended to be shown, free, to Amazon Prime members (who get free shipping and other benefits from Amazon). These programs will be part of a rapidly growing (and pretty darned good) collection of available programming already in place. For example, Amazon Prime viewers can watch EVERY episode of Twilight Zone, Arrested Development, and other interesting TV series from the past, as well as a bunch of good moves (last night, we watched Good Night, And Good Luck). As Amazon Prime members, we keep forgetting that we pay Netflix money, too.

So, what are the series? List below. Most of them appear to be promising: the creative teams are experienced, and the concepts are less lowest-common-denominator than we usually see on TV. One new concept from Garry Trudeau that sounds promising. And I sure hope that The Onion does a better job with television this time around (past attempt: not so good).

The complete list comes from the story in Tech Crunch.

Alpha House – Alpha House was written by Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury, Tanner ’88). Alpha House follows four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC.

Browsers – Written by 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and to be directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock), Browsers is a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website.

Dark Minions – Written by Big Bang Theory co-stars Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie, Dark Minions is an animated workplace series about two slackers just trying to make a paycheck working an intergalactic warship. The pilot will be produced by Principato-Young (Reno 911).

The Onion Presents: The News – The Onion Presents: The News is a smart, fast-paced scripted comedy set behind the scenes of The Onion News Network that shows just how far journalists will go to stay at the top of their game. The Onion Presents: The News is from The Onion’s Will Graham & Dan Mirk (The Onion News Network, The Onion Sportsdome).

Supanatural – Supanatural is an animated comedy series about two outspoken divas who are humanity’s last line of defense against the supernatural, when they’re not working at the mall. The series, written by Lily Sparks, Price Peterson and Ryan Sandoval, will be produced by Jason Micallef (Butter) and Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show).

Those Who Can’t – Written by Andrew Orvedahl, Adam Cayton-Holland and Benjamin Roy (Grawlix), who were discovered through Amazon Studios online open door process, Those Who Can’t is a comedy about three juvenile, misfit teachers who are just as immature, if not more so, than the students they teach.

Just in case you missed it, this blog presents a useful introduction to one of the best TV series of all time.

Just in case you missed it, this blog presents a useful introduction to one of the best TV series of all time. To visit the blog, click on the image.

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