Amazon Studios announced today that it has greenlit three animated kids pilots and two live-action kids pilots for its third stint at a kids pilot season. The new round of children’s shows and the previously announced new pilot Sara Solves It (a math-focused creation from the minds behind Curious George and Arthur that follows a child “super sleuth”) are set for an early 2015 debut on Amazon Instant Video.
The pilots competing for a full production release include three animated shows, The Stinky & Dirty Show, Buddy: Tech Detective, and Niko and the Sword of Light, as well as two live-action offerings, Table 58, and Just Add Magic.
The online mega-retailer plans to follow the same course it took with its previous batches of pilots by making the episodes available to watch for free. Customers can watch the pilots using the Amazon Instant Video app via Fire TV, Kindle Fire tablets, Fire phones, iPad, IPhone, iPod Touch, Roku, Xbox, Playstation, Wii, and “hundreds of other connected devices such as smart TVs.” Or one can simply visit the official Instant Video site to watch online.
Amazon has again asked viewers to leave feedback regarding which shows they want Amazon Studios to pick up for full series production. The shows that Amazon does end up selecting will then become available on Prime Instant Video.
Here are some more details for each of the pilots:
- Buddy: Tech Detective (for preschool-aged children)
Written by Jennifer Hamburg (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Super Why, Henry Hugglemonster), produced by The Foundation, a part of Zodiak Kids, and animated by Jellyfish Animation Limited, Buddy: Tech Detective is an exciting preschool whodunit that follows super-sleuth Buddy, his incredibly organized best friend Trudy, the funny furry ferret Ferdo and you, the smarty-pants viewer! Using a myriad of interactive technologies, Buddy and his team gather evidence, follow cues and crack the case.
- The Stinky & Dirty Show (for preschool-aged children)
Based on the I Stink! book series by Jim and Kate McMullan, The Stinky & Dirty Show is written by Guy Toubes (The Adventures of Chuck & Friends, Littlest Pet Shop, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi) and animated by Brown Bag Films, Ltd (Peter Rabbit, Octonauts, Doc McStuffins). The Stinky & Dirty Show follows the adventures and mishaps faced by best friends and unlikely heroes, Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty the backhoe loader. Whether it’s rescuing their pal Mighty the tugboat, or moving a giant boulder blocking the highway in their town of Go City, Stinky & Dirty are a dynamic duo of resourcefulness who make plenty of mistakes along the way. For them, hilariously failing turns out to be the most fun path to success.
- Niko and the Sword of Light (for children ages 6-11)
This selection is based on the motion graphic comic by Imaginism Studios, Inc., the studio behind character and concept designs for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and Men in Black 3, and Studio NX (The Carrot and Rabbit Show, Tree Fu Tom). Written by Rob Hoegee (Generator Rex, League of Super Evil, Storm Hawks, Teen Titans) and animated by Titmouse (Motorcity, Metalocalpyse, Turbo FAST, Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja), Niko and the Sword of Light follows ten-year-old Niko who is the last of his kind in a strange, fantastical world. He must embark on an epic quest to defeat the darkness and bring the light back to his land. Armed with his magic sword, brave Niko journeys to the Cursed Volcano, making new friends and powerful foes along the way, all while uncovering secrets about his mysterious past. Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) and Jim Cummings (Shrek) lend their vocal talent.
- Table 58 (for children ages 6-11)
Written by May Chan (Phineas & Ferb, Bucket & Skinner’s Epic Adventures), Table 58 is a single-camera live-action pilot directed by Gil Junger (10 Things I Hate About You, Greek). In Table 58, they’re not a part of the popular crowd, and they’re not a part of the geek crowd. The only thing they’re a part of is Table 58: the odd table in the lunchroom, made up of kids from all different cliques who have been ousted from the table where they seemingly belong. When new kid Logan moves to town, he rallies the group of six mismatched middle schoolers to form a tenuous partnership in order to help each other get back to their rightful place in the cafeteria.
- Just Add Magic (for children ages 6-11)
Based on Cindy Callaghan’s young adult book of the same name and adapted by Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son, Fairly Odd Parents, My Little Pony) and Nancy Cohen (Sabrina, The Thundermans), Just Add Magic is a single-camera live-action pilot directed by Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas in Love, Awkward). The story centers on Kelly Quinn and her two BFF’s, Darbie and Hannah, who stumble upon her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover it has some interesting recipes. The Shut’em Up Shortcake actually silences Kelly’s pesky little brother and when the Healing Hazelnut Tart quickly heals Darbie’s ankle, the girls discover they have the power of magic.
Additional episodes of Amazon’s first three kids series picked for full production will debut this fall on Prime Instant Video: Tumble Leaf on September 5, Creative Galaxy on October 3, and Annedroids on October 30.
As Amazon looks to compete for viewers of its original content with its powerful adversary Netflix, the company seems to think that children’s shows are the key to success. Whether or not this tack is paying off is unclear, but with its third try at creating a hit for kids, it seems Amazon sees gold in the underage crowd.
Edited: Aug. 25, 2014 at 12:37 p.m.