February 6, 2014 / 9:04 PM / 5 years ago

Amazon asks customers to pick from TV pilots for show development

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc released its second batch of TV pilots on Thursday and asked for customer feedback to help determine which of the 10 shows to develop into series for its video streaming service.

The company is investing in original content to attract customers to its $79-a-year Amazon Prime service, which competes for online viewers with services such as Netflix and Hulu.com. Prime also includes free two-day shipping for Amazon products.

The new pilots include three comedies and two dramas for adults, plus five children’s shows. Amazon will make a decision on how many to put into development after customers have their say by leaving online comments and ratings.

Malcolm McDowell stars in the comedy “Mozart in the Jungle,” a story about “sex, drugs — and classical music,” an Amazon statement said.

A science-fiction show, “The After,” was written and directed by “The X-Files” creator Chris Carter.

Amazon chose the pilots after looking at the genres that are popular with its customers, said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios.

“Customers have responded really well in the past to sci-fi,” Price said in an interview. “We start with some areas that customers are responding to and try to develop shows that fit in there.”

Other pilots include “Transparent,” a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family that stars Jeffrey Tambor and Judith Light, and “Bosch,” based on best-selling novels about a Los Angeles homicide detective.

The new pilots are available for a month in the United States on Amazon.com and through the Amazon Instant Video app, and in Britain through Amazon’s Lovefilm streaming service.

Last year, Amazon released two comedy series, “Alpha House,” starring John Goodman as a senator, and “Betas,” about a tech start-up, after considering customer input on 14 pilots.

Three children’s series also were selected during that process, which brought in thousands of customer reviews within a few days, Price said.

Editing by Amanda Kwan

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