Amazon unveiled five new pilots Thursday from Whit Stillman, Steven Soderbergh and David Gordon Green, Shaun Cassidy, Jay Chandrasekhar and Marc Forster. Some of the stars attached to the projects include Selma Blair, Adam Brody, Sarah Chalke, Dana Delany, Ron Perlman, Paul Reiser, Chloë Sevigny and Mena Suvari.
“We’re delighted to bring Amazon customers the work of these passionate and talented creators and are excited to get customer feedback,” said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. “It’s an exciting time at Prime Instant Video, with new, original shows coming to the service every month for the rest of the year.”
Amazon’s development process invites customers to provide feedback on pilots they want turned into shows on Prime Instant Video. Any Amazon customer in the U.S. and U.K. can watch, rate and comment on the pilots, and at the end of the season, the feedback helps determine the shows that become series.
This is Amazon’s third pilot season. The second one led the site to greenlight “Transparent,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Bosch,” “The After,” and kids’ series “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” and “Wishenpoof!”
Below, read more about the new pilots, as described by Amazon:
The Cosmopolitans (pictured above)
Written, directed and produced by Academy Award nominee Whit Stillman (“Metropolitan,” “Barcelona,” “The Last Days of Disco,” “Damsels in Distress”), The Cosmopolitans follows a group of young American expatriates in contemporary Paris searching for love and friendship in a foreign city. The romantic comedy pilot stars Adam Brody as Jimmy, Chloë Sevigny as Vicky, Carrie MacLemore as Aubrey, Dree Hemingway as Camille, Freddy Ã…sblom as Fritz, Jordan Rountree as Hal, and Adriano Giannini as Sandro. The pilot was filmed on location in Paris.
Hand of God
Marking the television debut of renowned filmmaker Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, World War Z) and written by Ben Watkins, Hand of God stars Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman in his first lead television role since Sons of Anarchy as Judge Pernell Harris. Hand of God also stars Dana Delany as the Judge’s protective wife Crystal Harris, Garret Dillahunt as KD, the born-again sociopath whose violent tendencies are exploited by Pernell, Andre Royo as the slick, smart, gregarious, and greedy mayor Robert ‘Bobo’ Boston, Alona Tal as Pernell’s grieving daughter-in-law Jocelyn Harris, Julian Morris as the questionable preacher Paul Curtis, Elizabeth McLaughlin as the preacher’s sultry girlfriend Alicia, and Emayatzy Corinealdi as Pernell’s call girl and confidante Tessie. The show centers on the powerful Judge Harris, a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side, who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. With no real evidence to go on, Pernell begins to rely on “visions” and “messages” he believes are being sent by God through Pernell’s ventilator-bound son. Forster, Watkins, Perlman, Brian Wilkins and Jeff King are Executive Producers, and Jillian Kugler is co-Executive Producer.
Hysteria takes viewers to Austin, Texas where social connection has become contagious. In the pilot, members of a girls’ competitive dance team are stricken with a strange, psycho-physiological illness that manifests itself in violent fits and spasms and then begins spreading in the community through technology. Neurologist Logan Harlen (played by Mena Suvari) returns to her hometown to investigate the cause. Fighting her own demons and the growing manipulation of a brother on death row, Logan develops an uneasy suspicion that the hysteria surrounding the girls might actually be linked to social media and her own tragic past. Hysteria is written by Shaun Cassidy, who is known for genre thrillers such as Invasion and American Gothic, and directed by Otto Bathurst, who won the BAFTA Award for his work on the critically-acclaimed U.K. mini-series Peaky Blinders. The show also stars James McDaniel (Orange Is The New Black) as Carl Sapsi, Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises) as Ray Ratajeck, Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as Matt Sanchez, Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace) as Grace Pelayo and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as Carter Harlen. The show is written by Cassidy, who is also Executive Producer alongside Adam Schroeder, Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bryan Zuriff, and Bathurst. In addition to Suvari, McDaniel, Stewart, Canto, San Giacomo and Knight, Hysteria also stars Ella Rae Peck and Jenessa Grant. Pilot guest stars include Jason Douglas, Heather Kafka, Asjha Cooper, and Evie Thompson. Amazon Studios is collaborating with Universal Television and Alcon Television Group on the production of Hysteria.
Written, directed and starring Jay Chandrasekhar, Really is a funny, extremely, honest behind-the-curtain look at the complexities of marriage and the charged dynamics of a tight-knit group of friends. The show is about four hard-charging suburban Chicago couples trying to grasp on-to their dwindling youth. At the center are the happily but messily married couple Jed, played by Chandrasekhar, and Lori, played by Sarah Chalke. When Jed is faced with the choice of keeping his pal’s secret or destroying his friend group, he winds up digging himself into a very deep hole. Really explores marriage, friendship and the stifling peculiarities of suburban Chicago life. The pilot also stars Selma Blair, Travis Schuldt, Hayes MacArthur, Collette Wolfe, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane and Rob Delaney. Really comes from Main Street Films’ Craig Chang and Harrison Kordestani, and Executive Producer Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings).
Directed by Sundance award-winner David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Eastbound and Down) and executive produced by Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven), Red Oaks stars Craig Roberts (Submarine) as David Myers, an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey in 1985, who is both reeling from his father’s heart attack and conflicted about what major to declare in the fall. While there, he meets a colorful cast of misfit co-workers and wealthy club members including an alluring art student named Skye (played by guest star Alexandra Socha) and her corporate raider father Getty played by Paul Reiser (Mad About You). A coming-of-age comedy set in the “go-go” 80s that is equal parts hijinks and heartfelt, Red Oaks is about enjoying a last hurrah before summer comes to an end–and the future begins. Red Oaks also stars Jennifer Grey (It’s Like, You Know) as Judy Myers, Richard Kind (Luck) as Sam Myers, Oliver Cooper (Californication) as Wheeler, Gage Golightly as Karen, and Ennis Esmer as Nash. Red Oaks is written by Gregory Jacobs (The Knick) and Joe Gangemi (Eliza Graves). Soderbergh, Green, Jacobs, and Gangemi are Executive Producers.