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Amazon Studios OKs production on pilots for kids' shows

Amazon will produce five test pilots for children's shows, including one from the creator of "Blue's Clues."

Amazon Studios will produce pilots for five original children's shows that are expected to make their debuts on Amazon's Web-streaming services, the company announced today.

The new pilots, which include series from the creators of "Blue's Clues" and "Sid the Science Kid," add to the six Amazon Studios pilots -- original comedies announced in December -- that are already in production.

The children's series are "Creative Galaxy," an arts and music show from "Blue's Clues" creator Angela Santomero; "Oz Adventures," a problem-solving program featuring the kids of characters from L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz;" "Teeny Tiny Dogs," a series produced by The Jim Henson Company and created by "Rugratz" director Howard Baker; "Tumbleaf," a stop-motion show for preschoolers; and an untitled series from "Dino Dan" creator J.J. Johnson about a young scientist named Anne who does experiments with the help of three robot assistants.

The 11 pilots will air on Amazon Instant Video, Prime Instant Video, Lovefilm UK, and Lovefilm Germany for free, so that Amazon Studios can gather feedback and decide which programs should get a full season of episodes. The completed shows will be available to Amazon Prime subscribers.

The efforts are in line with Amazon's push for original programming. The online retail giant pushed its way into the home-entertainment industry with its streaming services. It's now creating original content to compete with rival companies -- including Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube -- that are creating their own programming. The competition is fierce. Netflix outbid AMC and HBO to snag "House of Cards," a series starring Kevin Spacey that premieres tomorrow, as its first original TV series.