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Amazon unveils effort to develop original TV shows

(Reuters) – Inc unveiled a new effort to develop original comedy and children’s TV shows

to distribute over the company’s video streaming service.

The move is

part of a broader push by Amazon to produce its own content, including video and e-books, to sell to its millions of

customers over the Internet.

The world’s largest Internet retailer said people will be able to submit ideas for

television series to the website of its Amazon Studios unit. Amazon said it will option one new project per month and add it

to a development slate where it will be tested for viability with an audience.

Amazon has been spending heavily in

recent quarters to add movies and TV shows to its video streaming business, increasing competition with Netflix


However, both companies are also working on producing their own content from scratch to reduce reliance on big

movie studios and TV production companies, which want to be paid well for their work.

Amazon Studios, which was

launched in November 2010, accepts movie scripts and asks customers to review the ideas online, using the feedback to choose

which project should go ahead.

The unit has received more than 700 test movies and 7,000 scripts so far, and 15 movie

projects are under development.

The new focus on TV shows broadens this effort. Amazon said on Wednesday that the TV

series project is led by Joe Lewis, previously with 20th Century Fox and Comedy Central, and Tara Sorensen, who came from

National Geographic Kids.

Within 45 days of getting pilot TV scripts, Amazon said it will either extend an option on

the project for $10,000 or ask the creator to put the idea on the Amazon Studios website.

If the company decides to

distribute a full-budget series, the creator will get $55,000 and up to 5 percent of Amazon’s net receipts from toy and

T-shirt licensing, and other royalties and bonuses, the company said.

(Reporting By Alistair Barr; Editing by Maureen

Bavdek and Richard Chang)

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Amazon unveils effort to develop original TV shows