10 items from 2013
Truth. Ethics. Teamwork. It’s obvious which of these things drives the Onion News Network team — none of them. (Unless by “truth” you mean “truly amazing ratings.”)
Will Graham and Dan Mirk tell the story of these fine journalists in Onion News Empire, one of 14 Amazon original pilots now playing for free at Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM. Viewer response will help determine which of these shows return with full seasons.
How do you describe your show?
“Onion News Empire” is about ambitious reporters and anchors working for the world’s most terrifying cable news channel. It’s a comedy that thinks it’s a very self-important drama — so it looks and feels like a combination of an Aaron Sorkin show and a Shonda Rimes show, »
With the recent release of House of Cards and Hemlock Grove, Netflix has established serious interest in the original programming market. Amazon, another major player in online streaming services with Prime Instant Video, has made the first major step to follow suit. Late last week, 16 pilots were made available for free streaming on Amazon – 8 comedies and 6 children’s series. Most buzz has surrounded the pilot for Zombieland, a series written by the creators of the 2009 film of the same name. But some of the other pilots feature experienced production and acting credits (notably John Goodman in Alpha House and Jeffrey Tambor in Onion News Empire). Amazon is letting viewers fill out mini-surveys for each pilot as a means of collecting feedback to help decide whether or not a series gets picked up for a full season. Sound On Sight is here to offer some feedback for the comedy pilots:
- Sean Colletti
AmazonStudios is taking a more unusual approach by letting viewers decide what they want to keep watching. The company has kicked off its screening process this weekend by unveiling its inaugural slate of 14 pilots — eight comedies and six kids shows, all made available for free on AmazonInstant Video, LoveFilm UK and LoveFilm Germany. Viewers are being invited to watch the pilots and Amazon is welcoming feedback from its audience. According to Deadline, the company will evaluate feedback from an online panel recruited on Amazon preview as well as traditional offline focus groups to decide if they greenlight a series or not. The highest-profile series is Zombieland, but the two that look most interesting are Alpha House, starring John Goodman with cameos by Bill Murray and Stephen Colbert; and Onion News Empire. Amazon has not yet decided how many of the shows will make the cut, nor when they will premiere. »
- Kyle Reese
A day after Wolfe Releasing acquired distribution rights to the indie drama she co-stars in with Wendell Pierce, Four, Aja Naomi King has joined the cast of the Amazon Studios comedy pilot, The Onion Presents: The News, written by The Onion’s Will Graham and Dan Mirk, and directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson. In case you haven't been paying attention, Amazon.com is in the content creation business now. King joins a cast that already includes Jeffrey Tambor and Cheyenne Jackson in the project which is described as a scripted comedy that's set behind-the-scenes of the infamous, hilarious Onion News Network, showing just how far its journalists will go to get their story »
- Tambay A. Obenson
A day after Wolfe Releasing acquired distribution rights to the indie drama she co-stars in with Wendell Pierce, Four, Aja Naomi King has joined the cast of the Amazon Studios comedy pilot, The Onion Presents: The News, written by The Onion’s Will Graham and Dan Mirk, and directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson. In case you haven't been paying attention, Amazon.com is in the content creation business now. King joins a cast that already includes Jeffrey Tambor and Cheyenne Jackson in the project which is described as a scripted comedy that's set behind-the-scenes of the infamous, hilarious Onion News Network, showing just how far its journalists will go to get their story right. King will play a character named Jillian Chase, described as an overworked Associate Producer with dreams of being a reporter, but who doesn't have "the complete facial symmetry required," as she's apparently been told, according to Deadline. »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Cheyenne Jackson is set to co-star opposite Jeffrey Tambor in Amazon Studios‘ comedy pilot The Onion Presents: The News. The project, from The Onion’s Will Graham & Dan Mirk, is described as a fast-paced scripted comedy set behind the scenes of The Onion News Network that shows just how far journalists will go to stay at the top of their game. Jackson will play Cameron, a rising younger anchor who threatens the rein of veteran anchor David Everett (Tambor). Jackson, repped by ICM Partners and The Schiff Co., most recently co-starred in Bryan Fuller’s NBC pilot/special Mockingbird Lane and the indie Price Check. He will next be seen opposite Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in HBO’s Behind The Candelabra. Australian actress Bojana Novakovic (Edge Of Darkness) has landed a role opposite Greg Kinnear in the Fox comedic drama pilot Rake. Based on the Australian series, Rake, from »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
LOVEFiLM have revealed that the service will host 11 original TV series test pilots for members to stream for free. The never-seen-before children’s and comedy content is being produced by Amazon Studios – the original film and series production arm of Amazon.com.
LOVEFiLM members in the UK and Germany will be able to watch the content and viewer response will then help determine which series Amazon Studios take into full-season production. The move follows the announcement of Amazon Studios’ first pilot production commitment last December which gave six original comedy shows the green light. It brings the total number of Amazon Studios pilots currently in production to 11.
The eleven pilots include:
Creative Galaxy – Creative Galaxy is an animated interactive art adventure series, designed to inspire kids’ creative thinking through crafts, story, music and dance. The series was created by Angela Santomero, creator of Super Why!, the Emmy-nominated literacy series, Blue »
Jeffrey Tambor will star in the pilot for The Onion's newest series, according to Deadline.
Tambor, who has been nominated for six Emmys during his career, will play David Everett, a respected longtime journalist who fears the ever-changing world of media. In other words, the character may very well be a (intentionally) comedic counterpart to Jeff Daniels' character on "The Newsroom."
Unlike The Onion's previous forays into episodic comedy on Comedy Central and IFC, this series will be a scripted, character-driven look behind the scenes at the fictional Onion News Network, a parody of a 24-hour cable news channel. The pilot will be directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, who received acclaim for directing "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas."
It will be produced »
- The Huffington Post
In keeping with the friendly sibling rivalry that characterizes the relationship between our sister sites, The Onion has cast Jeffrey Tambor as the lead in its upcoming Amazon series The Onion Presents: The News, knowing full well that we at The A.V. Club want Tambor to concentrate completely on Arrested Development-related endeavors. “Oh, you want Tambor for another season and a movie of your little dork show?” Onion News Network and Sportsdome producers Will Graham and Dan Mirk asked while sitting on our chests, laughing as they watched our pathetic struggles to free ourselves and Tambor’s schedule »
Exclusive: Amazon Studios has landed another big-name actor for one of its first six comedy pilots. I’ve learned that Jeffrey Tambor is set to star in The Onion Presents: The News. The project, from The Onion’s Will Graham & Dan Mirk (The Onion News Network, The Onion Sportsdome), is described as a fast-paced scripted comedy set behind the scenes of The Onion News Network that shows just how far journalists will go to stay at the top of their game. Tambor will play David Everett, Onn’s oldest and most respected news anchor. He is intellectual, highly ambitious, cutthroat and insecure as he believes his job is being threatened by the younger Cameron, whom David detests. Todd Strauss-Schulson is directing. I hear Tambor was also courted for a broadcast pilot but opted for the Amazon project. He joins John Goodman and Bebe Neuwirth, who recently joined other Amazon Studios pilots. »
- NELLIE ANDREEVA
10 items from 2013
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