Amazon’s Audible expands its original programming with new comedy series

Over the past few years, Amazon-owned Audible has been expanded beyond audiobooks to include more original content, like the short-form audio programming offered through Audible Channels, for example. Today, the company announced a new partnership for original comedy projects, in collaboration with Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video. The first production from this effort is “Heads Will Roll,” a program created, produced by and starring Kate McKinnon and Emily Lynne.

The production itself is a workplace comedy about an evil queen in search of peace and quiet. It will also feature performances by Meryl Streep, Tim Gunn, Peter Dinklage, Andrea Martin, Carol Kane, Audra McDonald, Aidy Bryant, Alex Moffat, Heidi Gardner, Chris Redd, Steve Higgins, Bob the Drag Queen, Esther Perel and “Queer Eye’s” Fab Five.

Following “Heads Will Roll,” the next production will be “63rd Man,” from senior SNL writer Bryan Tucker and Zack Phillips. WWE Superstar John Cena will star as Billy Foster, a college football star who’s just barely not good enough to play in the pros.

The two new shows will join Audible’s collection of original content which today includes programming in areas like journalism, literature, theater, romance, sci-fi and fantasy and kids. Last year, Audible announced plans to partner with Reese Witherspoon’s media empire, Hello Sunshine, on original content in addition to the Reese Book Club on Audible, but those originals haven’t yet arrived, it seems.

Though its operates as a separate business unit from Amazon, the retailer leverages Audible’s programming to serve as another perk for Amazon Prime subscribers. Audible Channels, for example, are available to Prime members for free.

In addition, Audible content now ties into Amazon’s Alexa business, too. In addition to offering Audible’s audiobooks and originals on its Amazon Echo devices, the company recently launched choose-your-own-adventure stories on Alexa.

The launch dates for the new comedy series have not yet been announced.