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Amazon Shares Pilots With Public

Amazon’s public pilot season is underway, with the streaming service debuting two one-hour pilots and six children’s pilots June 17, allowing all Amazon customers to weigh in on what moves on to series. The vetting process is open to Prime subscribers and non subscribers alike.

“Now’s your chance to be heard,” reads the text on Amazon. “Which of these Amazon Studios Original Pilots would you like to see as a full series?”

The dramas include The Interestings, an adaption of Meg Wolitzer’s novel about summer camp friends and the directions their lives take them many years later. It’s a co-production with TriStar Television. Mike Newell directed the pilot and Lauren Ambrose, formerly of Six Feet Under, stars.

The Last Tycoon too is a novel adaption and a TriStar Television co-production. Billy Ray wrote and directed the pilot, based on the unfinished F. Scott Fitzgerald book, and Ray and Christopher Keyser are the showrunners. Matt Bomer stars as the Hollywood golden boy doing battle with his father, played by Kelsey Grammer.

The half dozen kids’ concepts include a reboot of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, from Sid and Marty Krofft; Little Big Awesomes; Morris and the Cow; Toasty Tales; The Curious Kitty and Friends; and Jazz Duck.

Sigmund is a live action show for children 6 to 11, based on the Kroffts’ classic Saturday morning series from the 1970s. The show is centered on two brothers  who befriend Sigmund, a friendly sea monster who escapes from his marine life and his dysfunctional brothers Slurp and Blurp.

Roy Price, VP, Digital Video and Amazon Studios, said the public screening process “has proven to work time and time again.”

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.