Amazon is officially entering the original content ring this month, with its first two series landing November premiere dates. "Alpha House," starring John Goodman, Cynthia Nixon, Amy Sedaris and Wanda Sykes, among others, premieres November 15; "Betas," starring Joe Dinicol, Karan Soni, Jon Daly, Charlie Saxton and Maya Erskine, premieres November 22.
The first three episodes of each show will be available for free via Amazon Instant Video. After that, one episode of each show will become available weekly, exclusively on Prime Instant Video.
So what are these two similarly titled series about? Both comedies, "Alpha House" centers on four senators-turned-roommates, while "Betas" follows young tech industry entrepreneurs as they attempt to hit the big time with a social networking app. Official synopses below.
Alpha House, which was written by Academy Award nominee and Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau and produced by Trudeau, Elliot Webb and Jonathan Alter, is a comedy about four misfit senators (John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy and Mark Consuelos) who rent a house together in Washington DC. The roomies are joined by Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City), Amy Sedaris (Strangers with Candy), Wanda Sykes (Curb Your Enthusiasm), and Julie White (Go On), who share in the outrageous—and sometimes all-too-real—follies of Washington politics.
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. Joe Dinicol, Karan Soni, Jon Daly, Charlie Saxton, and Maya Erskine star in the show, with special appearances from Ed Begley Jr. (Arrested Development, St. Elsewhere). Michael Lehmann directs and produces the show along with Emmy Award winners Alan Freedland and Alan Cohen, and Academy Award nominee Michael London.