Amazon Studios announces new fall pilots

24 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Amazon Studios announces new fall pilots.

“We have something for everyone in this season and I am excited to see which shows spark conversation amongst our customers and what they want to be made into series,” said Roy Price, VP of Amazon Studios, in a press statement. “Edge” : Based on George G. Amazon’s latest pilot season, where viewers watch and rate potential new series, will include comedies from Sacha Baron Cohen, Tig Notaro and Louis CK, the studio has announced.In the wake of its five Emmy wins on Sunday, including lead actor and directing in a comedy for “Transparent,” Amazon has announced its fall pilot season — set to debut in the months to come — exclusively on Amazon Video, where viewers can watch the new pilots and give feedback that Amazon purportedly uses in deciding which of the shows to move forward with. Though that’s not a terrible way to go about television programming, it does occasionally leave your lineups looking a bit like a game of TV Mad Libs. Highston’s gaggle of celebrity friends, who only he can see, worries his parents (Mary Lynn Rajskub and Chris Parnell), who want him to see a therapist.

The pilot follows an ailing Notaro as she returns to her Mississippi hometown after her mother’s death as she tries to acclimate to her new, old, environment. Juno writer Diablo Cody is also working together with comedian Tig Notaro on One Mississippi, which focuses on Notaro’s return to her childhood town in, you guessed it, Mississippi. There’s also a new political thriller, Patriot, featuring Lost star Terry O’Quinn and everyone’s favorite angry gangster/father Kurtwood Smith (Robocop, That 70’s Show), and Christina Ricci is headlining a new series, Z, about Zelda Fitzgerald. Executive producers for the project include Notaro, Diablo Cody (“Juno”), Louis CK (“Louie”), and Nicole Holofcener (“Friends with Money”), among others, with Cody and Notaro penning the pilot episode and Holofcener directing. “Z” is another new Amazon pilot based on a real person, a bio-series about Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, starring Christina Ricci (“Monster”) as Zelda herself. Rounding out the new lineup is Highston, a series centering on a teenager with a huge circle of (imaginary) celebrity friends, and Good Girls Revolt, a period piece that explores sexist newsrooms of 1969.

While Netflix clearly has a strong head start with quality original shows, based on the quality of Transparent and last year’s shows, Amazon seems to be catching up fast. The most successful of these has been Jill Solloway’s comedy drama Transparent, whose star, Jeffrey Tambor, this week received an Emmy Award for his portrayal of a transgender woman coming out to her family.

Not satisfied with tackling just the tempestuous history of the ’20s, Amazon is also diving into the heart of the feminist revolution and examining the lives of some of the women who fought on the front lines. Hand of God, a crime drama starring Ron Perlman, received widespread negative reviews when it debuted last month, with Vox describing it as “excruciatingly terrible television”.

The pilot has a large cast, including Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect”), Joy Bryant (“Parenthood”) and, apparently, Grace Gummer as Nora Ephron (which may or may not have been a phrase you were expecting to read today). You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you. The series has been described as “the most violent Western in print” and features a cowboy, Edge, played by Max Martini (“Pacific Rim”) prowling the West and doling out brutal justice.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of “Edge” is the fact that its developed by Shane Black (“Lethal Weapon”) who also co-wrote the teleplay and directs. Black has a light hand at finding humor where others would find only grimness. “Highston” is a straight comedy with a considerable comedy pedigree about a young man who has many celebrity friends.

The pilot stars relative newcomer Michael Dorman, as well as Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”) and Kurtwood Smith (“That 70s Show”) and is written and directed by Steven Conrad (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”).

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