Amazon Studios today confirmed a second-season pickup of Garry Trudeau’s Washington, D.C. comedy series Alpha House starring John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy as Republican senators living under one roof. Additionally, the service has officially picked up four of its five primetime pilots as well as two kids pilots to series. That includes Amazon’s first dramas: The After from Chris Carter, marking The X-Files creator’s return to series television, and Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly’s Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. Newly picked-up half-hour comedy series include the Gael Garcia Bernal starrer Mozart In The Jungle, from Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Alex Timbers and Paul Weitz, and Jill Soloway’s semi-autobiographical Transparent starring Jeffrey Tambor. Amazon’s fifth pilot, comedy The Rebels, from Ice Cube and Michael Strahan, was put on hold. There’s still no final decision on Amazon’s second freshman comedy series Betas. Its renewal for Amazon Prime has looked unlikely, but there have been talks about moving the project to a free streaming service Amazon has been mulling. The new kids series are Gortimer Gibbon’s Life On Normal Street, Amazon’s first live-action series for older kids, ages 6-11, and preschooler toon Wishenpoof!
“Alpha House is a joy to work on,” said creator Trudeau, who produces the series with Elliot Webb and Jonathan Alter. “It’s fun to dance on the leading edge of streaming video, where audiences converge on server farms at all hours, besotted by John Goodman and free two-day shipping.” According to Ray Price, Director of Amazon Studios, the second batch of Amazon pilots were watched by twice as many customers as the first one. Here is more info on the newly picked-up series:
The After—from Chris Carter, the creator of The X-Files—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 will be returning to star in their roles.
Michael Connelly’s best-selling book series about a relentless LAPD homicide detective will also come to life in the Amazon Original series Bosch. Connelly and Eric Overmyer will co-write the series which features Titus Welliver, Annie Wersching and Jamie Hector. Henrik Bastin and Fabrik Entertainment (The Killing) are producing.
Mozart in the Jungle is a half hour comedic drama about sex, drugs and classical music, that shows what happens behind the curtains can be just as captivating as what happens on stage. Returning cast includes Gael Garcia Bernal, Saffron Burrows, Lola Kirke, Malcolm McDowell, Bernadette Peters and Peter Vack. The series will be written by Oscar-nominee Roman Coppola, actor and musician Jason Schwartzman, Tony-nominated writer and director Alex Timbers, and Oscar-nominee Paul Weitz.
Transparent, a dramedy about a Los Angeles family with serious boundary issues, is from Emmy nominee Jill Soloway and starring returning cast Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass. It is an exploration of sex, gender and family that begins when a dramatic admission causes everyone’s secrets to spill out. The pilot received wide critical acclaim, was hailed as “the best pilot I’ve seen in years,” and named to numerous must see lists. Amazon will be shooting The After, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent in 4K Ultra HD.
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street is a live-action adventure show created by David Anaxagoras, a pre-school teacher and first-time writer who was discovered through Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process. The series 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 suburban neighborhood that has a hint of something magical just beneath the surface.
Written by Angela Santomero, creator of Blue’s Clues and Amazon’s Creative Galaxy, Wishenpoof! is an animated series 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 series.
This summer, Amazon will premiere its first three kids series picked up last year, Creative Galaxy, Tumble Leaf and Annedroids on Prime Instant Video. Each show will focus on important skills for children—science, arts and critical thinking—and will foster creativity by promoting learning through play.
TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.