By Sahil Patel
Continuing its practice of releasing original pilots before deciding if any are worth a series order, Amazon Studios has posted the latest batch of potential new shows for Amazon Instant Video.
The slate features three half-hour comedies and two hour-long dramas. As is the custom of the SVOD players, all shows come from established filmmakers, including Marc Forster, David Gordon Green, and Steven Soderbergh.
The pilots will be available for free in the US and UK, allowing anyone to watch and rate each show. The feedback will help determine which shows Amazon Studios chooses to greenlight for full seasons.
So far, five shows have come out of the Amazon Studios pipeline, including the comedies “Alpha House” and “Betas,” and children’s shows “Tumble Leaf,” “Creative Galaxy,” and “Annedroids.” To date, the company has greenlit 11 shows, including upcoming original series like “Transparent,” “Bosch,” “The After,” “Mozart in the Jungle,” “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street,” and “Wishenpoof!”
A description of each new pilot, plus cast and crew credits, is listed below:
“The Cosmopolitans”: Written, directed, and produced by Academy Award nominee Whit Stillman (“Metropolitan”), this series follows a group of young American expatriates in contemporary Paris searching for love and friendship. Cast list is headlined by Adam Brody and Chloe Sevigny.
“Really”: Written, directed, and starring Jay Chandrasekhar, this comedy will explore the complexities of marriage and the “charged dynamics” of a tight-knit group of four married couples in suburban Chicago. Alongside Chandrasekhar, the pilot stars Sarah Chalke, Selma Blair, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane, and Rob Delaney. Series comes from Main Street Films’ Craig Chang and Harrison Kordestani, with Jamie Tarses executive producing.
“Red Oaks”: Set in 1985 New Jersey, this comedy pilot follows an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club, who is both reeling from his father’s heart attack and conflicted about what major to declare in the fall. The pilot was written by Gregory Jacobs (“The Knick”) and Joe Gangemi (“Eliza Graves”), directed by David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”), and produced by Steven Soderbergh. Cast includes Craig Roberts in the lead role, and Paul Reiser, Jennifer Grey, Richard Kind, and Oliver Cooper in supporting roles. Soderbergh, Green, Jacobs, and Gangemi executive produced.
“Hand of God”: Directed by Marc Forster (“World War Z”) and written by Ben Watkins, this drama centers on a powerful judge, whose hard-living, law-bending ways come back to bite him when he suffers a family tragedy and mental breakdown. He then goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. The show’s cast includes Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy”), Dana Delany, and Garret Dillahunt. Executive producers include Forster, Watkins, Perlman, Brian Wilkins, and Jeff King, with Jillian Kugler co-executive producing.
“Hysteria”: Written by Shaun Cassidy and directed by Otto Bathurst, this techno-horror-drama follows a neurologist who returns to her hometown of Austin, Texas to investigate a “psycho-physiological” illness that is spreading through the community. Somehow social media and her past are involved. Cast includes Mena Suvari, James McDaniel (“Orange Is the New Black”), and Josh Stewart. Executive producers include Cassidy, Adam Schroeder, Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bryan Zuriff, and Bathurst. “Hysteria” is extra significant in that it is also an Amazon Studios co-production in partnership with Universal Television and Alcon Television Group.