Amazon adds ten new pilots to bolster Prime Instant Video collection
In the ongoing battle for original content, Amazon is ready to kick off ten new pilots for the company’s Prime Instant Video subscribers. Starting today, these are just a few of the stories viewers will be thrown into with 10 new pilots launching exclusively on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. and LOVEFiLM in the UK.
Following a successful first pilot season that resulted in the critically-acclaimed Garry Trudeau series Alpha House—along with popular tech comedy Betas and the soon to premiere kids series Creative Galaxy, Tumble Leaf and Annedroids—Amazon Studios today debuted a mix of comedy, drama and kids original pilots—all available for free. Customers are encouraged to watch and provide feedback on the pilots to help determine which shows should be made into series.
New to the pilot lineup this year are two hour-long drama pilots from notable creators Chris Carter (The X-Files), Eric Overmyer (The Wire, Treme) and Michael Connelly (Harry Bosch). Half-hour comedy pilots were created by Oscar nominated Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom), actor and musician Jason Schwartzman (Saving Mr. Banks), Tony-nominated writer and director Alex Timbers, Oscar nominated Paul Weitz, Emmy nominated Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under), and executive producers Ice Cube and Michael Strahan. The diverse lineup features stars such as Gael Garcia Bernal, Golden Globe nominee Malcom McDowell, and Emmy nominated Jeffrey Tambor.
Kids shows come from award winning creators Duane Capizzi (Transformers Prime), Josh Selig (Wonder Pets), Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues), Arland DiGirolamo (Sketchy) & Geoff Barbanell (Kickin’ It) as well as David Anaxagoras, discovered through Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process. These pilots include pre-school shows, and new this year, shows for kids ages 6-11.
“With our previous set of pilots,customers submitted thousands of reviews within the first few days and more than 80 percent of those reviews were 4 and 5 stars,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “We collaborated with some of the very best creators in Hollywood—and even some new comers that submitted their show through our open door process—to bring customers a wide array of top-quality shows. This season we have something for everyone with a mix of comedy, drama and kids programming—we can’t wait to hear what customers think.”
What Creators Are Saying
“It is thrilling to see Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street come to fruition and to have the pilot directed by Oscar winning director Luke Matheny,” said creator David Anaxagoras. “As a creator that broke into the industry thanks to Amazon Studios’ open door process, it’s been a very positive experience working with Amazon and their excellent creative teams. As a teacher I really appreciate Amazon’s dedication to creating pilots that nurture the imagination.”
“We can’t wait to share The After with audiences all over the world via Amazon.com. It’s an exciting time to be making TV—and this is an exciting place to be doing it,” said Chris Carter, creator of The After.
“I’m really excited to be bringing Bosch to Amazon viewers. I think we’ve put together a show that is completely loyal to the books and presents in Titus Welliver a Harry Bosch relentless as a bullet and as complex as a DNA strand,” said Michael Connelly, bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Harry Bosch novels which the pilot is based on. “Whether you know the books or not, you’re going to want to follow this man into his own dark corners as well as those of L.A.”
“Collaborating with Amazon Studios has been incredibly rewarding, Amazon gave me the freedom to tell a story and introduce these characters in such an honest, organic way,” said Transparent creator Jill Soloway. “I hope we will be back soon with a full season of Transparent to share.”
“As someone who helped develop the pre-school pilot curriculum, I can say with conviction that parents can feel good about sharing these pilots with their young children,” said Dr. Alice Wilder, Educational Psychologist and Educational Advisor for Amazon Studios’ pre-school kids pilots. “Parents will find these pilots valuable because Amazon is working hard to develop shows that foster creativity, imagination, play and lifelong learning in early childhood. Imaginative play comes to life in Wishenpoof! as Bianca makes good choices using her magic and The Jo B. & G. Raff Show helps young kids learn the importance of compromise in constructive, creative ways that inspire kids to want to do it themselves in real life.”
Based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series and written by Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, drama pilot Bosch follows a relentless LAPD homicide detective as he pursues the killer of a 13-year-old boy while standing trial in federal court on accusations that he murdered a suspected serial killer in cold blood. Bosch is played by Titus Welliver (Argo, The Good Wife) and stars Annie Wersching, Amy Price-Francis and Jamie Hector. Henrik Bastin of Fabrik Entertainment (The Killing) produced and Jim McKay directed the pilot.
Written and directed by Emmy-nominee Chris Carter (The X-Files) executive produced by Marc Rosen of Georgeville Television and produced by Gabe Rotter, The After follows eight strangers who are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation. Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jamie Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar, and Louise Monot star in the pilot.
Mozart in the Jungle
Dramatic comedy, Mozart in the Jungle was written by Oscar-nominated writer and director Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited), actor and musician Jason Schwartzman (Saving Mr. Banks, Moonrise Kingdom, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), and Tony-nominated writer and director Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher). The project is based on the memoir Mozart in the Jungle by Blair Tindall. Mozart in the Jungle is all about sex, drugs—and classical music—and shows that what happens behind the curtains at the symphony can be just as captivating as what happens on stage. Paul Weitz (About a Boy, Admission) directed the pilot and executive produced. Gael Garcia Bernal, Saffron Burrows, Lola Kirke, Malcom McDowell, Bernadette Peters and Peter Vack star.
Written and directed by Emmy-nominee and 2013 Sundance Best Director winner Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight, Six Feet Under and United States of Tara), Transparent is a darkly comedic story about an LA family with serious boundary issues. In this exploration of sex, memory, gender and legacy, the past and future unravel when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out. Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass star in the pilot.
Written by Jeremy Garelick and Jon Weinbach, sports comedy The Rebels follows Julie Levine (Natalie Zea) after her husband suddenly dies and leaves her as the sole owner of a pro-football team. The Rebels creative team also includes executive producer, Matt Alvarez (Ride Along), musician and actor Ice Cube and Michael Strahan, former football player for the New York Giants and host of Live with Kelly and Michael.
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street is a live-action adventure show created by David Anaxagoras, a first-time writer, discovered through Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process. Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street is a coming-of-age tale that centers around Gortimer, his two best friends Ranger and Mel, and their exploits on Normal Street—an ordinary suburb that has a hint of something magical just beneath the surface. The pilot was directed by Oscar winner Luke Matheny (God of Love, Maron) and guest stars Fionnula Flanagan.
Hardboiled Eggheads, created by Emmy Award-winner Duane Capizzi (Transformers Prime, Jackie Chan Adventures, Men in Black: The Series) is an animated action-comedy for children ages 6-11. The ultra-precocious bespectacled Kelvin and Miles may look, dress, and speak like typical nerds, but when these two brainiacs suit up in their high-collared white lab coats and protective goggles to battle monsters born of toxic waste, martians lured to Earth, or even killer vegetables, they don’t look and sound so nerdy anymore.
The Jo B. & G. Raff Show
The Jo B. & G. Raff Show is an animated series created by multiple Emmy Award-winning writer and producer Josh Selig (The Wonder Pets). Created specifically to help teach preschoolers the importance of resolving conflict in constructive ways, The Jo B. & G. Raff Show follows two best friends, Jo B. and G. Raff, hosts of their very own TV show. Each day, just as their show is about to start, Jo B. realizes G. Raff has gone somewhere new and exciting and needs to go find him. Jo B. travels to get G. Raff, but G. Raff always wants to stay and explore. The two friends end up reaching a compromise and singing, “If I give a little and you give a little, together we can meet in the middle!”
Maker Shack Agency
Maker Shack Agency takes a unique look at the “maker” movement through the adventures of Wolfie, a 13-year-old inventor with grand idea and a motto of “fail forward.” Together with his friends Merle, a tech wizard, and Jo, a girl who can build anything, they create gadgets to help fellow classmates. Wolfie, Merle and Jo use all the branches of science and personal ingenuity to solve problems with a new invention in every episode. Created in conjunction with the think tank Applied Minds and the production company Electus, the pilot was written by Arland DiGirolamo (Sketchy), Geoff Barbanell (Kickin’ It) and directed by Alex Winter (Ben 10, Downloaded) and features original music from Dr. Dog.
Written by Angela Santomero, creator of Blue’s Clues, Creative Galaxy, and the Emmy-nominated literacy series, Super Why!, Wishenpoof! is an animated pilot that revolves around Bianca, who has “wish magic” which means if she wishes to play under the sea then — Wishenpoof! — she’s a mermaid, swimming around with the sea horses. Bianca uses her wish magic to help others and learns to solve life’s problems in her own creative way because with magic, or without, we all have the power to make good choices. This is Santomero’s second Amazon Studios pilot. Santomero’s first pilot, Creative Galaxy, is currently in production and scheduled to be available on Prime Instant Video in 2014.
Amazon Studios’ first pilots premiered in April of 2013 with eight comedy pilots and six kids pilots. Of the 14 pilots, Alpha House, Betas, Annesdroids, Creative Galaxy and Tumble Leaf were chosen, with the help of customer feedback, to be produced as series. The first season of Alpha House and Betas are available exclusively for Prime members and the kids series will be available to stream on Prime Instant Video later this year.