Amazon Decides on Five Original Series; Next Question Is Ads

Online Streaming Service Narrows 14 Pilots Down Based on Viewers' Votes

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After letting online viewers to vote on 14 original pilots, Amazon has ordered five to series: "Alpha House," "Annebots," "Creative Galaxy," "Betas" and "Tumbleaf."

John Goodman and the cast of 'Alpha House' on Amazon Prime
John Goodman and the cast of 'Alpha House' on <a data-cke-saved-href='' href='' title='See recent content about <a data-cke-saved-href='' href='' title='See recent content about Amazon'>Amazon</a>'>Amazon</a> Prime Credit: Amazon

These shows - two comedies and three childrens' shows -- mark Amazon's first foray into original streaming series. The first will be made available to Amazon Prime subscribers later this year.

"Alpha House," which stars John Goodman, is a comedy about four misfit senators turned unlikely roommates who rent a house together in Washington, D.C.

"Betas" is set in Silicon Valley and follows four friends as they attempt to strike it rich with a new mobile social networking app.

For children, Amazon is introducing "Annebots," about a young scientist who creates three robot helpers to assist her scientific experiments in the back of her dad's junkyard; "Creative Galaxy," an animated, interactive art adventure series; and "Tumbleaf," a preschool series about a blue fox named Fig.

With these series, Amazon joins the likes of Netflix and Hulu, streaming video platforms that have been generating buzz with theirown original content and putting pressure on traditional TV players to increase their investment in originals and scripted fare. Netflix released the highly-anticipated new season of "Arrested Development" last weekend and received critical acclaim for the first season of "House of Cards" earlier this the year.

Unlike Netflix, however, Amazon doesn't seem to be ruling out the possibility that its new streaming series will be ad-supported.

"We have not announced anything about the shows being ad-supported," an Amazon spokeswoman said by email today when asked about that prospect.

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