Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Amazon Kills Zombies, Keeps John Goodman as It Plans First Season of Web Series

Amazon ZombielandJust like a regular TV network, Amazon ordered up a bunch of pilot shows this year, and will end up making a series out of some of them.

Unlike a TV network, Amazon has asked the Internet to watch and rate its test shows, and has said the input will help the company make its decisions.

And now we’re getting to see some of those decisions play out.

We only have definitive word on one of the 14 pilots Amazon has ordered. That’s because Rhett Reese, the writer/producer behind “Zombieland,” has announced, via Twitter, that it’s not getting picked up:

Reese wasn’t done, though. He also complained about people who didn’t like the show — presumably fans of the original movie his series was riffing on:


Meanwhile, over at Deadline, Nellie Andreeva reports that Amazon has picked up “Alpha House,” its Washington satire starring John Goodman, and “Betas,” a Silicon Valley sitcom.

Neither of those moves are that surprising, since Amazon has seemed bullish on “Alpha House” from the start, and “Betas” sure seems like it would hit an online viewing sweet spot.

That said, a pedigree or concept isn’t enough to keep you on screen, whether it’s on TV or online. Deadline also reports that Amazon is not picking up “Browsers,” a musical comedy about interns at a Huffington Post-style site.

That one featured “Cheers” star Bebe Neuwirth as an Arianna-like boss, and was written by David Javerbaum, one of the main brains behind the “The Daily Show” for many years. No dice.

Also, about the voting: Your vote counts, but it’s not the only thing that counts. Amazon Studios head Roy Price said his team would look at a variety of data as they made their decisions.

For instance: I never voted on “Browsers,” even though Amazon sent me an email after I first watched it, asking me for my thoughts. But I’m sure that Amazon did take note of the fact that I only watched the first 5 minutes of the show, then never returned.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work