As a guy blogging for a site owned by a television network (CBS Interactive is the parent company of CNET), count me as both excited and worried about Amazon's lineup of pilots for original comedy series.
So far, the forays into original programming by the likes ofand Hulu and Amazon have been a mixed bag -- Netflix's "Lillyhammer"? Blech. Hulu's " "? More please.
But the six comedy pilots that will be posted to Amazon Instant Video for free viewing look to be upping the game significantly. Some of the names behind the series include Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame, writers from "The Daily Show," "30 Rock," "The Big Bang Theory," The Onion, and others.
The pilots will be posted for free viewing so that feedback can be gathered from viewers to helpdecide which series should get a full season of episodes that will then be available to Amazon Prime subscribers.
In addition to reaching out to well-known names like Trudeau, Amazon Studios also accepted scripts through an online open door process. This is how the pilot for "Those Who Can't" -- which features one of my favorite stand-up comics from my hometown of Denver, Adam Cayton-Holland, in a comedy about three immature teachers -- came to be.
And who wouldn't be excited about this show being offered up by the Onion team:
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).
Hopefully they don't reveal too many tricks of the journalistic trade, or where the entrance to my secret tunnel under Jeff Bezos' house is. Hmm, maybe I should start writing my own script...