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Amazon Prime Instant Video Greenlights Another Original Comedy

27 Mar, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Amazon Studios March 27 said it will add comedy “Betas” to its lineup of 13 pilots already in production for subscription video-on-demand service Prime Instant Video.

“Betas,” which is the eighth comedy pilot, will be made available (along with the other seven comedy pilots and six children’s pilots) for free on Amazon Instant Video, LoveFilm U.K. and LoveFilm Germany. Customer feedback will help determine which of the 14 pilots Amazon Studios will make into full-season productions to air on Prime Instant Video.

Set in Silicon Valley, Calif., where the right algorithm can launch your online business, “Betas”  follows four computer geeks and their quest for nerd fame as they attempt to crack the ultimate code. The pilot stars Ed Begley Jr., among others.

Amazon is attempting to keep pace with Netflix, which is spearheading creation of original episodic programming among SVOD services. By taking a page from premium channels such as HBO, Showtime, AMC and Starz, SVOD services seek to lure and retain monthly subscribers.

“Betas” joins seven previously announced comedy pilots: “Alpha House,” “Browsers,” “Dark Minions,” “Onion News Empire,” “Supanatural,” “Those Who Can’t” and “Zombieland.”

Michael Lehmann (Heathers, "True Blood," "Dexter," "American Horror Story") will direct and produce the pilot along with Emmy Award winners Alan Freedland and Alan Cohen (Due Date, "King of the Hill," "American Dad"), and Academy Award-nominated producer Michael London (Sideways, The Visitor, The Informant).

“Amazon is giving us a chance to work outside the TV bureaucracies and connect directly with audiences hungry for original content, and 'Betas' is the perfect match for that model,” said London. “'Betas' is a half-hour comedy about a group of tech-savvy millennials trying to connect with the world both personally and professionally.”


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