In the past six months, Amazon has intensified its expansion into the premium content space through its homegrown distribution company, Amazon Studios. The site seems ready to add another top-quality series to its lineup, as it is reportedly close to a distribution deal for Browsers, a musical comedy series that was previously close to becoming a CBS pilot.
Browsers is the work of David Javerbaum, a longtime Daily Show writer who has won 12 Emmys. The show chronicles the sing-songy adventures of four interns who work at a Huffington Post-esque online news publication. Javerbaum and producer 3 Arts Entertainment previously pitched the comedy to CBS, but a pilot was never completed.
Amazon Studios has attracted a decent number of creators by offering a solid chunk of change and decent royalties for optioned series. Several big names, such as Hellraiser director Clive Barker, have also created content for the fledgling studio.
Amazon came in tenth place in the most recent comScore rankings, with the lowest user engagement out of any of the top ten. Giving the green light to more premium content can be a good way for Amazon to increase the amount of time video viewers spend on their site, even if it may cause a slight hit in the views department.
Amazon Studios also recently announced (at the New York Television Festival) that it was picking up Captain Cornelius Cartoon’s Cartoon Lagoon, a derivative version of Mystery Science Theater 3000 that makes fun over below-average children’s cartoons. With that series in tow alongside Browsers, Amazon seems to be building a comedy lineup that can rival the big boys. Quality laughs helped win critical acclaim for NBC; can the same strategy work for Amazon?