Amazon is joining other over-the-top providers like Hulu and Netfilx that have moved into the original production business with plans to produce original comedies and children's programming. The shows would be distributed via the Amazon Instant Video offering.
Amazon Studios new series development is being led by Joe Lewis, a former 20th Century Fox and Comedy Central executive and Tara Sorensen, formerly with National Geographic Kids.
Amazon Studios intends to option one project a month, which will be tested as part of its development slate with online audiences.
The company hasn't released a timeline for the production of the first shows, how many they are planning to make or budgets.
But a separate report in All Things Digital noted that Amazon is looking to create shows with the on-screen quality of "real" TV shows and will spend "commensurate production budgets."
Like its project to create movies that launched in 2010, Amazon is soliciting ideas for shows via the Web, where it is asking creative to send in a five-page description, along with a 22-minute pilot script for comedies, or an 11-minute pilot script for children's shows. Amazon says it will pay $10,000 to option a product and will pay around $55,000 and up to 5 percent of Amazon's net receipts from toy and T-shirt licensing, and other royalties and bonuses if Amazon Studios elects to distribute a full-budget series.
The company notes that its production company, "the People's Production Company is signatory to the Writers Guild of America and to The Animation Guild, Local 839."
Amazon Studios first launched in November 2010. Since then, more than 700 test movies and 7,000 scripts have been submitted and 15 movie projects are currently under development, according to its website.