Amazon’s IMDb TV ad-supported streaming service said that it has a group of original scripted projects in development.
The announcement came before Amazon’s presentation at the NewFronts, where digital video companies make their pitches to media buyers. Amazon hasn’t presented at the NewFront’s before.
Free ad-supported streaming channels like IMDb have been growing fast, but are starting to see a need to develop and pay for original programming to attract and hold viewers.
A hour-hour drama from Dick Wolf, the prolific Law & Order producer, has been ordered by IMDb TV.
On Call follows a pair of police officers on patrol in Long Beach, Calif. Each episode tracks the partners--a rookie and a veteran--receiving a radio call and arriving on the scene of an incident.
The show is produced by by Universal Television and Wolf Entertainment and ATTN.
Other new IMDb TV projects include:
Blessed and Highly Favored, about a woman who returns to Dallas as a rookie pastor to keep her family’s church alive under the critical eye of her predecessor, who is also her father. Writer-creators Chris Marcil and Sam Johnson are the showrunners and executive producers. Emmy Award-winner Chris Godsick, Peri Gilpin, 3 Arts and Industry Entertainment also serve as executive producers.
Greek Candy is a single-camera comedy series inspired by the 100 year old chocolate factory Melina Kanakaredes and her family run in Akron. From Sony Pictures Television, Kanakaredes stars, executive produces and co-writes the series with Marc Firek. Also executive producing are Josh Berman and Jennifer Robinson in association with Osprey.
Primo, from Shea Serrano and Michael Schur, is a compelling and highly entertaining coming-of-age story about a Mexican-American teenager balancing cultural norms, college aspirations, societal expectations and a big family. Based on his life, Serrano is the writer and an executive producer. Schur and David Miner also serve as executive producers. Primo is a Fremulon and 3 Arts production in association with Universal TV, a division of Universal Studio Group.
The Fed is a drama set at the Federal Reserve featuring a group of young financial geniuses and their personal lives, which may derail their careers. Produced by Warner Bros. Television, The Fed is executive produced and written by Nkechi Okoro Carroll, who worked for the Federal Reserve prior to her TV career. Adesuwa McCalla, who has a first-look deal with Amazon Studios, will also serve as executive producer.
The Pradeeps of Pittsburgh, PA. is from Sony Pictures Television and follows an Indian family and the tumultuous yet humorous events since they arrived in Pittsburgh two years ago. The series is written by Vijal Patel and inspired by his personal experiences, and directed by Michael Showalter. Patel and Showalter alongside Sara Gilbert, Tom Werner, Mandy Summers and Jordana Mollick serve as executive producers.
The streamer has also greenlit High School, a new original series based on the book by recording artists Tegan and Sara. The scripted show follows the twin as they write their first song and have their first loves.
Tegan and Sara Quin and Clea DuVall will serve as executive producers alongside Plan B Entertainment. DuVall will also write and direct multiple episodes, including the pilot. Amazon Studios and Emmy and Plan B Entertainment produce the show.
“We are incredibly excited to be working with Lauren, Ryan, and the fantastic IMDb TV team to bring High School to life and apologize in advance to our mother for forcing her to relive this period of time with us again,” said executive producers Tegan and Sara Quin. “We’ve made casting suggestions on her behalf to the incomparable Clea DuVall and our wonderful partners at Plan B.”
High School is part of an overall deal for television between Amazon Studios and Plan B Entertainment.
Amazon OTT said it now reaches more than 120 million monthly viewers, up from 20 million viewers in January 2020.
IMDb TV’s viewership has grown 138% since a year ago. Now, 62% of IMDb TV viewers are age 18-49 and IMDb TV viewers spend 5.5 hours per week on average on the free streaming service.
Amazon OTT ads show up alongside content across IMDb TV, Twitch, live sports like Thursday Night Football, 3P network and broadcaster apps, and Amazon’s News app.
IMDb TV will launch its mobile app on Android and iOS devices.this summer, expanding its distribution.
IMDb TV has greenlit an order for Season 2 of the docuseries Top Class: the Life and Time of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers.
The show, from Uninterrupted, will pick up where Season 1 ended, with COVID-19 bringing their season to a halt just before the high school basketball team is supposed to play in the state championship game. The Trailblazers feature a roster of high-profile players including BJ Boston, Amari Bailey, Bronny James, Shy Odom, Zaire Wade and Ziaire Williams.
The show is executive produced by Bronny's dad LeBron James and Maverick Carter.
“Top Class captured the devotion, resilience, passion, and raw emotion experienced by the players and coaches during last year’s monumental season,” said Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, co-heads of content and programming, IMDb TV. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Uninterrupted and deliver fans the next chapter of the awe-inspiring Sierra Canyon Trailblazers story."
IMBb TV said its reboot of Leverage, which appeared on TNT from 2008 to 2012, will have its debut on July 9. Leverage: Redemption will stream eight new episodes this summer followed by an additional eight episodes in the fall.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.