LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - Amazon Studios has announced it has ordered three animated and two live-action pilots of kids shows for the third installment of its kids pilot season, which will debut in early 2015 on Amazon Instant Video.
The shows will debut alongside a new version of the previously announced "Sara Solves It" pilot. Keeping with the Amazon business model, these first episodes go live for customers to watch and provide feedback to help execs decide which pilots become full series.
"We're very excited to be working with such talented creative minds in kids entertainment to bring these five new pilots to life," said Tara Sorensen, head of kids programming at Amazon Studios. "At Amazon, we're focused on great characters and storytelling to create engaging programming for children. We've been overwhelmed with the positive reaction to our first three children's series that debuted this summer -- "Tumble Leaf," "Creative Galaxy" and "Annedroids"--and look forward to giving parents more episodes of these beloved shows to enjoy."
Amazon premiered its first two adult series, "Alpha House" and "Betas," in this pilot season model last fall. "Alpha House," a satirical political comedy starring John Goodman was picked up for a second season. Amazon has also ordered six full series, including Chris Carter's "The After" and Jill Soloway's "Transparent."
The company recently disclosed that it is spending more than $100 million on new series and pilot production in the third quarter of 2014 as it vies with Netflix and Hulu in the subscription-streaming arena.
Amazon's new kids pilots include:
"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) The Stinky & Dirty Show, based on the "I Stink!" book series by Jim and Kate McMullan, 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) Niko and the Sword of Light 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.