You Can Now Watch and Vote on Eight Amazon Comedy Pilots, Including Zombieland and One By a Few TV.com Names You Might Recognize


If you've ever been excited by the announcement of a TV pilot only to then be disappointed when some rich jerkface network execs decided not to order it to series based on the skewed opinions of a few focus groups and you ended with Work It and Whitney instead, have I got some news for you! Amazon—which, like Netflix and MSN and Hulu and probably your grandma's cat Mittens—is trying to break into the original programming game, but unlike those other guys, they're actually giving viewers a say. Through its Amazon Studios division, the retail giant has spent the last several months soliciting and developing a number of original "television" projects, and today it released eight comedy pilots and six children's pilots along with an explicit call for feedback from anyone who's willing to offer it. The idea is to order full series at least partly based on consumer feedback. 

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price told TV Guide a bit about how the process will work:

They'll be on the site for at least a month. One month after they're up we'll sift through the data. It will be a quite diverse source of feedback. You have simple metrics like how many people watched it and reviewed it, what their average rating was, and what the reviews said substantively. You also have offline focus groups. We have an online panel recruited from big Amazon movie and TV customers called Amazon Preview, where they'll give more in-depth feedback. There's going to be a lot of data and a fair amount of work.


Now, we have no idea exactly how much weight Amazon will assign to viewer responses, but still, how cool is that? Below, we've compiled loglines and viewing links for all eight of the comedy pilots, and lest you worry that they won't be any good, rest assured that they aren't the work of amateurs: There are some big names attached! We're talkin' John Goodman, Jeffrey Tambor, Price Peterson**, and more. So take a gander, then let us know which ones you're excited about in the comments. 


**Yes, THAT Price Peterson. Everybody please let's give a hearty round of congratulations to Price, along with his co-conspirators (and current TV.com writers) Lily Sparks and Ryan Sandoval, for making it this far, and wish them luck in the voting! (And also full disclosure that some people who work here or used to work created one of the following shows.)

 


ALPHA HOUSE

Official Amazon synopsis: Alpha House was written by Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury, Tanner '88) and features John Goodman (Roseanne, Argo, Treme), Clark Johnson (The Wire), Matt Malloy (Six Feet Under, Law & Order), and Mark Consuelos (American Horror Story: Asylum, Guys with Kids). Alpha House follows four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC. Watch it here.



BETAS

Official Amazon synopsis: Set in the land of Silicon Valley start-ups, Betas, written by Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard, follows four friends as they attempt to strike it rich with a new mobile social networking app. Michael Lehmann (True Blood, Dexter) directed and produced the pilot along with Emmy Award winners Alan Freedland and Alan Cohen (King of the Hill), and Academy Award nominee Michael London (Sideways). Watch it here.



BROWSERS

Official Amazon synopsis: Written by 12-time Emmy-winning comedy writer David Javerbaum (The Daily Show) and directed by Don Scardino (30 Rock), Browsers is a musical comedy set in contemporary Manhattan that follows four young people as they start their first jobs at a news website and features actress Bebe Neuwirth. Watch it here.



DARK MINIONS

Official Amazon synopsis: Written by Big Bang Theory co-stars Kevin Sussman and John Ross Bowie, Dark Minions is an animated workplace series about two slackers just trying to make a paycheck, working on an intergalactic warship.. Watch it here.



ONION NEWS EMPIRE

Official Amazon synopsis: Onion News Empire is a smart, 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. Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), Chris Masterson (Malcolm in the Middle), William Sadler (The Shawshank Redemption), Cheyenne Jackson (30 Rock) and Aja Naomi King (Damsels in Distress) star in the pilot. Watch it here.



SUPANATURAL

Official Amazon synopsis: Supanatural is an animated comedy series about two outspoken divas who are humanity's last line of defense against the supernatural, when they're not working at the mall. The series was written by [TV.com contributors] Lily Sparks, Price Peterson, and Ryan Sandoval and, the pilot was produced by Jason Micallef (Butter) and Kristen Schaal (The Daily Show). Watch it here.



THOSE WHO CAN'T

Official Amazon synopsis: Written by Andrew Orvedahl, Adam Cayton-Holland and Benjamin Roy (Grawlix), who were discovered through Amazon Studios' online open door process, Those Who Can't is a comedy about three juvenile, misfit teachers who are just as immature, if not more so, than the students they teach. Watch it here.



ZOMBIELAND 

Official Amazon synopsis: Zombieland is based on the hit Columbia Pictures movie of the same name, and finds four survivors outwitting zombies and searching for a place to call home. The Zombieland pilot comes from the film's original creative team, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Joe Schmo Show), and producer Gavin Polone (Gilmore Girls, Curb Your Enthusiasm). Watch it here.


Which of these projects sound good to you? Let's hear your first impressions—and as you work your way through each episode, your full opinions—in the comments.

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PRICE!!!!!! K I'm done byeeee. :)
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There are a couple more series that ya'll at TV.com didn't cover as they were just added to the database. I'm keeping my eye on "I Love College" - the mockumentary style comedy. It's like a blend between Modern Family and Blue Mountain State. It has on point accuracy on how it feels going into your first year of college - I have a feeling that the smart-ass characters will be taken down a peg and the goofy types will thrive on this one.
Definitely worth a watch in my book!
http://studios.amazon.com/projects/21812
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I have only seen two of the shows so far, that being zombieland and supanaturals. Ill be checking out more as they enter the pirate bay (live in canada :P).

Zombieland: Decent show, will definatly follow it. Thought it was a little strong on the language (and i swear all the time!). Getting a little girl to say this is F***ed up at the end is like whaaaat? Even nececarry at all? Are they going for shock humor or something? or is this what tv is slowing heading towards... The characters where ok, talahasee obviously being the best, i like the fact that he is doing his own version of talahassee and not trying to clone woody for the show. Overal i give it 3.5/5

Supanaturals: Weird show, i loved the begining with the whole indiana jones vibe with all the traps and how they are such pros that they can just leisurly stroll through this crazy tomb. Kinda reminded me of archer only not as good... I did feel that i lost interest in most of the episode thou, i guess sassy black (or white in this case) girls are not my cup of tea. Overall i give this one a 3/5 (being generous).

As for the rest the one i look forward to seeing the most is onion news, looks hilarious!
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the Zombieland pilot wasnt that good, The actors were trying to hard to be like the a list actors in the movie. The boy was annoying trying to sound like Jesse, which i already dislike Jesse anyway. The older guy just cant touch Woody on his betrayel. they needed new characters instead of people trying to copy the original cast.
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Check out our hysterical new Found Footage sitcom web pilot on Funny or Die! http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/c1edeebcc7/found
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I just watched Onion News Empire and thought it was pretty funny.
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I'll definitely check out Supanatural, but I think I might be too conflicted to be honest...I want Price back for my Vampire Diaries recaps!!!
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Browsers was atrocious. I like musicals, I've even bought a Glee cover or eight, but that was too much.

Onions News Empire had a lot of promise. I loved the Onion News Network when it was on and I like how this version has that Newsroom feel. Some of the jokes were a little in your face but overall a great show.

Alpha House was one that surprised me. I love politics but I don't like watching fake Republicans anymore than I do real ones. This show grew on me though and I'd definitely tune in for more. But they need to drop those horrible southern accents and I sincerely hope the gay congressman story-line was just for this episode and not some longterm thing. It gold old really quick.

And... SupaNatural. When I saw the art I was immediately turned off but as soon as they started talking I was hooked. This show is hilarious, I did not stop laughing during the opening bit in the tomb. I'm talking Laugh out Loud funny. I will be legitimately sad if there aren't more episodes of this.
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I am hard pushed to find anything here to watch. I've seen the pilots and the only one that works is Zombieland, how that pans out I'm unsure, as it certainly has the same budget as all the rest of them put together.
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All done except Browsers and Dark Minions, I don't think I'll be going there.

Alpha House - Not the most appealing idea, I get enough political comedy/satire from Veep and on the administrative side from Parks & Rec. This tried to be both and just didn't go anywhere. The whole episode felt like a filler. As a pilot it's not great, I didn't get a feeling it could go anywhere as a series. The actors save it and maybe it should be enough to get it picked up.

Betas - As a pilot should be, we got introduced (somewhat) to the characters and what drives them, mostly as a group. The episode ends with a win for the team that should set up the series if it gets picked though I don't know if it does.

Browsers - What the hell is this and why should I watch it?

Dark Minions - I'm not a BBT fan so that didn't pull me in, and the incomplete animation of the pilot just really put me off, maybe I'll give it a try if it gets properly done.

Onion News Empire - This was probably the one I liked the most, it feels like the love child of The Newsroom with Newsreaders, it being a comedy just makes it awesome, the actors are great and really make it work, mainly because they take it seriously. I hope this one gets picked up.

Supa Natural - Funny as hell, at first the animation didn't interest me but eventually the jokes got to me, though I wish an animation more on the lines of Archer's would be good. I'd get rid of the indian character, it just felt token-y and I don't think he can be used that much. Other than that I think it could work in a case of the week model, and I'll probably give it a chance if it gets picked up.

Those Who Can't - Feels like a toned down (as in less raunchy) Workaholics, the pilot focused on the school dinamics which is ok, jock kid is the enemy, the principal is a somewhat easy goer, the librarian and the cafeteria lady are kinda hot and the eventual love interests of the two main charcaters who are single. From the pilot I think it has potential but it will be a tame show.

Zombieland - I think the main issue with zombieland is that the actors were playing "used" characters that just didn't suit them. In the movie they seem more influenced by the actors playing them whereas in the tv pilot they are copies, and copies are never as good as the original. I hoped they all got killed and we started following a different group. it would be on the same tone as the movie and the pilot and we would get a nice transition from the movie to the tv show.
They should've made original characters and work from there. maybe throw in a nod or two to the movie.
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zombieland was better than the movie imo have to check out some of the others as they trickle onto the pirate bay.
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You can watch them all, for free, on amazon.
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Saw Supanatural and Zombieland. I liked them both but Zombieland definitely isn't as good as the movie. Supanatural is something I can imagine on Adult Swim or something like that. They are just pilots and both could learn from mistakes they made. Zombieland definitely needs to try less and just... do it naturally.
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"Onion News Empire" is one I want to watch. I liked when they were on IFC as ONN. I had laughs and learned things too.

The other shows listed don't interest me too much.
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Saw "Zombieland"... and, sadly, it is not a good show. It ain't as funny, that's for damn sure; the main problem, though, is they're trying very (too?) hard to be as clever as the movie were, and sometimes gets there, but mostly try to half-assed it, hoping we wouldn't notice, which we do ( that whole opening scene, where you see two white collars bitching about their life while the zombie apocalypse is happening right behind them, just plainly fall flat.) They should have created new characters instead of the original players - TV versions of movie characters always annoyed the hell out of me, especially when said characters are played by genuinely stars, which, let's face it, is the case with the 4 main protagonists of "Zombieland". And let's not forget about the zombie kills... the "Kill of the Week" still work, but, and I'm not shitting you, I saw plenty of undeads get killed off from simple bodyshots here... which, as a z-fan, will make you go "WTF!?" a whole lot of time. And this is just the pilot...
I'll check the second episode, just to give this show a chance to find its sea-leg, but major improvement must be done for it to count me as a viewer.
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Did not see the "Zombieland" movie, so, I need to put that on my to-do list, a good zombie show is always fun to watch!

That being said, I would give "Alpha House", "Supa Natural" and "Onion News Empire" a chance.

"Betas" seems inspired by "The Big Bang Theory" but with geeks that have a purpose.

"Those Who Can't" seem to be inspired by the movie "Bad Teacher", which I will say, sorry fellas, but ya'all ain't Cameron Diaz.

Then again, who knows, I really need to see more info or trailer on these 2 before I can make a good judgement call.

The rest of them, don't seem to be worth my time.

Love me some Babe Neuwirth, but, musicals don't appeal to me, so "Browsers" is out.

"Dark Minions" has nothing of interest about it, seems kinda boring.. Maybe it's one of those "Family Guy" type shows. At the moment, when reading about it here, in this site, it doesn't seem like much, regardless of the "Star Wars" look and feel.
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The movie Zombieland was actually very good. I don't know how the series would be. I fear if I will be comparing it with The Walking Dead.
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The walking dead is a serious drama/action/thriller/whatever show, Zombieland is a comedy. I don't think you can really compare them any more than 24 and Chuck.
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True that. I haven't watch it and that's why I said "I fear if I" :)
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Seriously though, is there ANY chance that the Zombieland pilot is just testing the waters on the concept before bringing in the real actors if it goes ahead?
Because those actors(actors?) are awful, and if you aren't Woody Harrelson, don't pretend to be!
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From what I've heard, the actors no longer want to go back and do a sequel. So I doubt they'd want to go back and do a series.

At first they made it sound like everyone wanted to immediately do a sequel when the first one came one. Someone said (second-hand) that Woody never wanted to do a sequel more in his life than Zombie Land. But recent quotes are much much less promising.
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Just watched Zombieland pilot. Very cheap....these actors have no chemistry at all. You cant help feel like it's some cheap Youtube parody. Not funny at all, would've worked with better actors but...I hope that if this does actually get picked and they go on with it they recast. 2 stars.
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Damn. Just watched it again. 1 star. The guy playing Tallahassee? Honestly, who the hell cast this amateur?
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I couldn't sit through it once, let alone twice. I think you're zombieland ready should the outbreak ever take place as that's some real fortitude you've displayed.
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All looked really bad however supanatural looked so dumb that it might get picked up for a TV series then canceled
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Ill check out a few. So far I've watched Supanatural & I enjoyed it. It reminded me of the Boondocks
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So you have to give your credit card number just to watch a pilot for free??? What is this nonsense?! Not cool, Amazon. Not cool.
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Zombieland! Same actors?
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Not with same actors.
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Just finished watching the first 2: Alpha House and Betas. Here's my problem, why would I pay for more TV, and TV I would have to watch on my computer no less. I was entertained but is it enough to pay to watch shows on my computer.
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I've seen Zombieland. It reminded me of Death Valley, only less funny. I'll keep watching, though.
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Kudos for doing it but the name is bad the synopsis not much better.
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couldn't finish zombieland. 13 minutes in. non compelling playing non compelling characters with no compelling plot.

it doesn't help that it broke rule # 3 at the very beginning all while the most compelling actors were on the screen no less http://filmdrunk.uproxx.com/2013/04/where-have-all-the-good-parody-movies-gone

I wanted to like it but when I started tabbing out while it was playing I should have known it just wasn't working.
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Those who can't... I liked it. I felt like the spanish teacher carried most of the weight. The teacher who wore a kevlar vest was pretty funny during that bit. there were soem generally funny ideas. the setting offers some potential. I could see myself giving it a couple more episodes and I would or would not continue from there depending.

so far ONN is my favorite. only zombieland left to try.
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I wish your former contributors all the best. I do. But Supa Natural sounds AWFUL.
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People who've actually watched it seem to like it. I'll be checking it out.
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I just finished Zombieland. It wasn't bad, but I really wish they used different characters instead of using 4 new actors to play the characters from the movie. It had some good moments and I'd probably watch more episodes, but using new actors for the same characters made it feel like a cheap knock-off at times.
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I liked Supanatural. I'll probably watch the Zombieland one, as well as Dark Minions.
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Zombieland looked alright but using all of the character names but with different actors didn't sit right. It felt like I was watching a generic brand of something that was awesome. Maybe the show will pan out alright and the opening scene was pretty funny. My only real gripe was with the names. Dark Minions was good as well. Hoping that goes to series 100%
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Zombieland was complete shit. what a fucking insult to the awesome movie. acting was stiff, dialog was boring, plot was non-existent. I wanted to punch a baby after sitting through such an immense pile of shit. I honestly wanted all the characters to die, that would have been less of a "fuck you" to fans of the movie.
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Betas was very disappointing, other than the ridiculous Moby cameo.

It may be a minor gripe, but it's really distracting when a show about a great Internet startup features websites & apps that look completely fake/terrible.
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Zombieland was surprisingly good. Though I would like it a lot more if these were brand new characters rather than new actors for established characters.
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I'll watch the Zombieland one. I tried watching Supanatural (and ONLY because of the writers) but got halfway through and...I just couldn't. I can't do animation for some reason. That being said, I liked the writing!
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ZombieLand Was Awesome
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Zombieland and Dark Minions, in that order - can't wait.
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A little perturbed with Walking Dead, I watched Zombieland and went into it in a lighthearted kind of way. It's not the kind of show to take seriously; even in it's comedy. So in that sense, I thought it was good fun.

Best line: "Maybe they've fallen and they can't get up."
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OK, who is voting against Supanatural?!?? Price and Lily and Ryan are our FRIENDS!! Y'all need to check yourselves.
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I didn't vote for any of the shows, but I've got something to say to your comment: you're voting for that show just because the authors are your friends? If the show sucks, such voting will encourage them to keep sucking. YOU need to check yourself.
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You're voting whether you'll watch the show, not whether you liked it. Just saying. No nepotism, really.
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I voted for their show because it's a good show. And because I enjoy Price, Lily, and Ryan's writing on the site and sense of community here, which they're helped foster.

But hey, thanks for taking my slightly tongue-in-cheek comment and getting all up in arms over nepotism or whatever. And no, sir, YOU need to check YOURSELF! Because we just haven't done that line to death yet. And also because you might wreck yourself.
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I didn't really enjoy any of them. :(
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Alpha House, Garry Trudeau and John Goodman? The premise is a bit wacky, but yeah, I'll check that out.

Betas is a pass, the premise sounds very ultra-modern and yet not terribly compelling.

Browsers has an awful title and is a musical, on TV that'd be instant death, but Bebe Neuwirth is great and it has good behind-the-scenes credentials, so I'll call it a yes but really it's a maybe.

Dark Minions is a super yes, that sounds awesome. Why this is has instant attract feel and Betas' writeup has none is telling.

Onion News Empire is a yes based on the talent alone.

Supanatural probably would have been a "maybe/no" from sounding too cutesy until it turned out to be from folks I've seen on the site, so yes but if it sucks you owe me a coke.

Those Who Can't looks like a cross between Workaholics and Bad Teacher, if this was network that'd be a no, but for this format, yes.

Zombieland is a big no, that is too ambitious for this format and I'd hate to see it crash and burn, so I'll just avoid the heartache altogether.
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Liking me some Zombieland & Those Who Can't.

Zombieland:
The pilot was pretty good especially considering the high bar the film has set already. Fidelity is certainly not a problem as the characters are, or at least try to be, the same as the original. The types of humor, dialogue, and action sequences also fall in line with the film. This might be a problem for some viewers in terms of originality, but honestly I think just as some of us recognized the awesomeness that was Zombieland, the creators of this series just want to continue the "magical mystery tour," which is perfectly fine by me. If there was never a film I think that this pilot would still stand tall on it's own, if not even higher in terms of reviews. However, since there is source material, it's under really high scrutiny. Adding to that, in terms of budget, this pilot managed to raise my Zombieland goosebumps in spite of constraints.

Also, it's just really nice to have another zombie series that's doesn't take itself too seriously like The Walking Dead. If we can have multiple shows about vampires, wolves, and other various supernatural (ie Supernatural) elements, why not zombies too? I'll definitely be following this, and I think that others should also give it a chance, if not two, or three.

Those who can't:
Shorter review. Hilarious, esp if you enjoy humor similar to Workaholics, except with high school teachers. I have a broad sense of humor that includes teachers "shitting" on obnoxious students and vice versa. I also get some Sunny in Phil vibes. It's also pretty well done as a pilot episode.
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Well, based on those pilots, I would definitely watch Onion News Empire, Zombieland and Supanatural, and probably give Dark Minions and Betas a chance.
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Most of those shows sound interesting.
Watched Zombieland, okay in a cheap kind of way.
I wish Betas was a spin off of Alphas. :(
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I can't watch anything since I don't have a credit card, but Onions News Empire looks awesome!
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I said nothing, just be being logged in you can watch the show. Let's go for Onion News Empire!
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I loved supanatural, I can definitely see it on TV like like on adult swim. Great job TV.com guys! (still miss Price's reviews though) about to go watch zombieland...
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The shows I liked (Those Who Can't, Dark Minions, and Zombieland, though I'm not completely sold on Zombieland) all have more yeses than nos, hooray! Hopefully that means they'll get picked up (I don't really care if Zombieland get's picked up but I enjoyed Those Who Can't quite a bit and Dark Minions has clear potential) and I can finally catch a break with tv shows I like not getting cancelled, or in this case getting more episodes.
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Love the idea of voting to keep shows going! I'm planning to watch each one, and have already watched Zombieland, which was incredibly stupid, yet I still laughed more than a few times, so maybe it'll grow on me like Archer did. I'm pre-caching Supanatural now, because Price!
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I have to ask, though, how did Lilly and Price going about getting this made? What is the process behind it? I doubt I'll get an answer, but as a budding writer and such, I have to ask.
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Funny you ask... we're going to run an interview with them next week so they can talk about the experience a little!
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Now that I've read the credits, I have an appropriately horrible interview question for you. Ask Lily what it's like to work with Riki Lindhome. For example, did she burst into song at any point?
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Awesome Sauce!
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Zombieland: The Series?? *Runs all the way to Amazon*
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You might run to youtube and check out the trailer first. It looks rubbish. I'm gonna say pass on all of these actually.
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it's a nice and late 5:30 am here so I guess I'm gonna have to save the last two for 8 or so hours from now. 'night peeps.
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