Amazon Original shows go live, you pick which become series

Amazon has put 14 original shows on Lovefilm for free viewing, letting us decide which get the green light and become series.

Joe Svetlik Reporter
Joe has been writing about consumer tech for nearly seven years now, but his liking for all things shiny goes back to the Gameboy he received aged eight (and that he still plays on at family gatherings, much to the annoyance of his parents). His pride and joy is an Infocus projector, whose 80-inch picture elevates movie nights to a whole new level.
Joe Svetlik
2 min read

Ever fancied being a bigwig TV studio exec? Well now's your chance. Amazon is streaming 14 pilots through Lovefilm (which it owns) right now, and you can decide which get the green light to be turned into series.

The shows include eight adult comedies and six children's animation series. Among them are Alpha House, starring John Goodman, Zombieland (based on the film of the same name), and Onion News Empire, another spinoff from the satirical news network.

The shows are made by independent production companies and produced by Amazon Studios. You don't need to be a Lovefilm subscriber to watch, either, as they're available to everyone, for free. You will need Microsoft Silverlight installed though.

Alpha House -- the John Goodman vehicle -- is about four senators who live in a rented house in Washington DC, so sounds a little like Veep. Bill Murray also has a cameo. Onion News Empire shows "just how far journalists will go to stay at the top of their game" according to Amazon studios. Browsers also has a poke at the current affairs journalism, with Bebe Neuwirth (Frasier's wife in Cheers) playing the "terrifying" boss of a US news website.

Dark Minions, meanwhile, is written by Big Bang Theory's Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie, and is about slackers aboard an intergalactic warship. Sort of like Lister in Red Dwarf, then.

Netflix produced and streamed the Kevin Spacey show House of Cards recently, along with a host of other original programmes, so this is Amazon's attempt to fight back. The Google-owned YouTube also launched its original channels initiative, with 20 of them homegrown here in Blighty.

The BBC is also going to be airing several shows on iPlayer before they reach TV, starting with Peter Kay's new sitcom.

So, the future of television? Or just a gimmick? And do any of the shows tickle your fancy? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.