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John Goodman's Alpha House among five new Amazon TV series

Alpha House

Story by Jack Foley

ALPHA House (pictured), a political comedy starring John Goodman, is among five original series that Amazon will make this year.

It will be joined by Betas, a sitcom about Silicon Valley, children’s programme Annebots and animations Creative Galaxy and Tumbleaf.

The shows Amazon’s first foray into original programming, following in the footsteps of rivals Netflix and YouTube, and will initially be shown on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service.

The pilots were among 14 potential new shows that were aired to viewers on Amazon.com in the US and on Lovefilm in the UK last month, after which customers were asked to help decide which ones would be made into full series.

Alpha House is by far the most high-profile of the new pick-ups. Written by Pulitzer-winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau and starring Goodman, it follows the actor as one of four misfit senators who share a house.

Trudeau commented: “We’re thrilled to have emerged safely from this harrowing exercise in online democracy.”

Betas, starring Ed Begley Jr, follows a group of friends hoping to strike it rich in Silicon Valley.

Both shows will shoot 10 episodes, with Alpha House airing in November.

Annebots is a programme about science and technology featuring robots, while Creative Galaxy is described as an interactive art show and Tumbleaf a pre-school stop-motion show. This trio will get 26-episode runs.

Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios, commented: “We are thrilled at the enthusiastic customer response to our first original pilots. The success of this first set of pilots has given us the push to try this approach with even more shows. This is just the beginning.”

One of the higher profile shows expecting to receive a pick-up, but which failed to make the cut, was Zombieland, a comedy based on the 2009 movie of the same name.

Expressing his disappointment, Rhett Reese, writer and producer, blamed viewer feedback for the TV show’s demise, Tweeting: “I’ll never understand the vehement hate the pilot received from die-hard Zombieland fans. You guys successfully hated it out of existence.”

Browsers, a musical comedy starring Fraser’s Bebe Neuwirth, also failed to generate enough support to be turned into a full series.

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