Private equity firm Apollo Global Management will take Rackspace private in the all-cash deal.
The move is Amazon’s latest in digital streamed content.
Amazon.com Inc. will produce pilots for six comedy TV series, and then seek consumer feedback to help determine which of them will continue. The move, announced today, marks the latest entertainment effort from the e-retailer’s Amazon Studios content development division.
The initial episodes of the six shows will air on the web via Amazon Instant Video, a digital streaming service that offers consumers access to some 25,000 film and TV titles. Members of Amazon Prime—which charges a $79 annual fee for two-day shipping on Amazon purchases—receive free access to Amazon Instant Video. Amazon says its customers will be able to watch the pilots for free.
“Since launching our original series development effort, we have received more than 2,000 series ideas from creators around the world with all different backgrounds, and we are extremely excited to begin production on our very first set of pilots,” says Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios.
The pilots include: “Alpha House,” a show about four senators living together that was written by Garry Trudeau, creator of the “Doonesbury” comic strip; “Browsers,” described as a musical comedy about young people starting careers in Manhattan; “Dark Minions,” a cartoon about slackers and an intergalactic warship; “The Onion Presents: The News,” a scripted comedy from the satirical media company that publishes The Onion newspaper; “Supernatural,” a cartoon involving divas; and “Those Who Can’t,” which focuses on young teachers.
In October, Amazon Studios said it had optioned the horror novel “Seed” to turn into a movie.
Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.