Web

Amazon announces six new original TV shows

amazon announces six new original tv shows studiosNot ready to get left behind by Netflix and Hulu, Amazon has announced that it, too, will produce new exclusive content for subscribers to enjoy, but with a little bit of an American Idol-esque twist: This time, viewers will get to decide which of six potential pilots will be made into a full series.

Amazon Studios, the original film and series development and production arm of the Seattle-based Internet giant, will produce pilots for six different original comedy series from both well-established and up-and-coming creators. Each pilot is available on Amazon Instant Video for free, with viewer feedback deciding which show will get a full series order from the company. The completed series, however, will be exclusive to just Amazon Prime customers in the United States and LoveFilm customers in the United Kingdom.

Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios, explained that the six pilots were chosen from literally thousands of submissions following the company’s request for material back in May. “Since launching our original series development effort, we have received more than 2,000 series ideas from creators around the world with all different backgrounds,” he said in the company’s official announcement of the pilots, adding that the company is “extremely excited to begin production on our very first set of pilots.” 

The talent behind the pilots is surprisingly impressive – including Pulitzer-Prize winning Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, an Emmy-winning writer from The Daily Show, cast members from The Big Bang Theory, and a new series from The Onion – suggesting that choosing between the six shows may be harder than one might initially think. According to the May request, each of the creative teams behind the pilots received $10,000 in payment for the pilot, with an additional $55,000, plus five percent from any merchandise on top of other potential royalties and bonuses, should the show get picked up for a series run.

The six pilots up for consideration are:

  • Alpha House: Alpha House was written by Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury, Tanner ’88). Alpha House follows four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington D.C.
  • Browsers: Written by 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and to be directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock), Browsers is a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website.
  • Dark Minions: Written by Big Bang Theory co-stars Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie, Dark Minions is an animated workplace series about two slackers just trying to make a paycheck working an intergalactic warship. The pilot will be produced by Principato-Young (Reno 911).
  • The Onion Presents: The NewsThe 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).
  • SupanaturalSupanatural is an animated comedy series about two outspoken divas who are humanity’s last line of defense against the supernatural, when they’re not working at the mall. The series, written by Lily Sparks, Price Peterson and Ryan Sandoval, will be produced by Jason Micallef (Butter) and Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show).
  • Those Who Can’t: Written by Andrew Orvedahl, Adam Cayton-Holland and Benjamin Roy (Grawlix), who were discovered through Amazon Studios online open door process, Those Who Can’t is a comedy about three juvenile, misfit teachers who are just as immature, if not more so, than the students they teach.

Amazon Studios is continuing to invite submissions for new series.

Movies & TV

Jordan Peele’s The Twilight Zone series gets a creepy extended trailer

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele is developing and hosting a reboot of the classic sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, and the show's new, creepy trailer introduces the first season's key cast members.
Movies & TV

Amazon's Lord of the Rings series gets an interactive map of Middle-earth

Amazon Studios is betting big on its Lord of the Rings prequel series, which has a multiseason commitment and a budget of more than $1 billion. The series' first season will arrive by 2021.
Movies & TV

Marvel’s streaming Loki series gets a plot summary and a showrunner

A Rick & Morty writer will oversee Marvel's Loki series for Disney Plus. Tom Hiddleston is expected to reprise his role for the show, while the series' premise offers a few hints as to how Loki might return from the dead.
Movies & TV

The Breaking Bad sequel might air on Netflix before it arrives on AMC

A Breaking Bad sequel starring Jesse Pinkman (and, possibly, Walter White) is on the way from series creator Vince Gilligan, and you might get your first look at it on Netflix, not traditional cable.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Computing

Chrome is a fantastic browser, but is is still the best among new competitors?

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Microsoft extension adds Google Chrome support for Windows Timeline

The Windows Timeline feature is now much more versatile thanks to the added support for Google's Chrome browser. All you need to do to increase its functionality is to download the official Chrome extension.
Movies & TV

Here’s how to watch the 2019 Oscars livestream online

The 91st Academy Awards will air live on ABC, but there are also a number of ways to watch Hollywood's biggest night online using your mobile device, desktop, or set-top streamer. Here's how to catch the Oscars livestream.
Computing

YouTube changes its strikes system, offers softer first-offense penalty

YouTube announced changes to its strikes system for its content creators. The changes include a softer first-offense penalty for creators who violate YouTube's guidelines and more consistent penalties for further violations.
Computing

An experimental feature could help reduce memory usage in Google Chrome

Google Chrome might be the most popular web browser, but it also is a resource hog. Google is currently working on an experimental feature for Chrome which sets out to reduce its overall memory usage. 
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. The best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or OS.
Web

Rid yourself of website notification requests in just a few easy steps

Wish you knew how to block browser and website notifications? You can do it on a case by case basis, but that can become dull after the 10th site has asked for your approval. Here's how to block them outright.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it. Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.