Inside Amazon’s Super-Weird, American Idol-Style TV Series Development Process

TVWriter™ is still trying to figure out whether Amazon.Com’s “Hey, kids, wanna create your own TV show for us?” is real, P.R., or both. And we aren’t the only ones:

amazonby Stephanie Carrie

Amazon’s new production arm, Amazon Studios, is right now breaking new ground by premiering 14 scripted pilots and having the public help decide who will get series orders. But its avant-garde development process goes deeper than that.

Amazon’s original programming execs, Sarah Babineau and Joe Lewis, bought some finished scripts that had made the rounds at other networks in previous years but gone unpurchased. Others they bought from unknowns who submitted their full scripts through Amazon’s call for submissions on its website. From first-time TV writers to Academy Award-nominated veterans, Amazon gave many of its creators unprecedented freedom in casting, crew, content and production. read article

Love & Money Dept – TV Writing Deals for 12/31/12

This Year’s Last News About Writers Who Are Doing Better Than We Are
  • Bryan Singer (HOUSE, X-MEN) is developing yet another version of THE TWILIGHT ZONE, this one for CBS TV Studios. (Not to be confused with CBS Network because, who knows, Leslie Moonves might turn it down and ya gotta keep your options open, right?)
  • Kristen Schall (THE DAILY SHOW), Garry Trudeau (DOONESBURY comic strip), and the team of Kevin Sussman & John Ross Bowie (THE BIG BANG THEORY) are among the writers working on pilots for Amazon Studios. (Not to be confused with all the new writers Amazon originally reached out to because newbies might not be, you know, predictable enough, right?)
  • Paul Attanasio (HOUSE, DONNIE BRASCO) has written the pilot for Showtime’s THE VATICAN, a thriller cashing in on THE DAVINCI CODE which will be directed by Ridley Scott. (Because, God knows, TV isn’t exactly embarrassed by jumping on a bandwagon, no matter how too little, too late the TV effort may be.
  • A writer to be named shortly will be writing a pilot for a CW series about a medieval noblewoman who enlist Robin Hood’s aid in rescuing her serf boyfriend from the Normans. (Because the Gerards and the Roberts and the Jonathans et al aren’t nearly as exciting to teens – OK, just think about that awhile, c’mon.)
  • Speaking of new writers, Grant Dekernion (former writers’ assistant on EASTBOUND & DOWN) has written the pilot for CHOSEN, an animated comedy about a rapper who wants to redeem himself while also dominating the world. (Yay! Not only do we finally get to report on a new writer getting a chance, it turns out that his series idea is actually realistic – well, except maybe for that “redeem himself” part. We’ll see.)

Ah, what better way to close out the year than with a report about writers who have made/are making it? They were once beginners also, so never forget: YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

Happy New Year from TVWriter™!