EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios continues to attract big names for its pilots. Feature actor Gael García Bernal (Y Tu Mamá También, Amores Perros, Babel) has been tapped for the streaming service’s comedy pilot Mozart In The Jungle, written by Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Alex Timbers. Based on the memoir by Blair Tindal, the project 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 onstage. Mexico-born Garcia Bernal, repped by WME, will play Gustavo, an enfant terrible who’s utterly devoted to his art as a conductor — but also to his image.
Will Yun Lee (The Wolverine) is set to co-star opposite Shane Coffey in USA’s drama pilot The Novice, from Fox 21, Joe and Tony Gayton. It centers on Kyle (Coffey), a recent college graduate who is forced to move back home with his parents and soon lands a position with a Korean crime organization. Lee, a second-generation Korean American, will play Big Bang, a thug with a lot of anger issues who is a major player in the Korean syndicate. The actor, repped by APA and Zero Gravity, next stars in director Duane Adler’s Korean film Cobu.
Once again, Amazon Studios waited for its pilots to be fully cast before confirming their green light. Bosch, based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch book series, and Chris Carter’s The After represent the streaming service’s first-ever drama pilots. The completed pilots will join Amazon’s recently ordered comedy pilots, all of which will be made available on Amazon Instant Video for viewer feedback in early 2014. Here are the official details about Bosch and The After: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: With Amazon Studios expanding into drama, the company has tapped former ABC Studios head of drama Morgan Wandell to head Amazon Studios’ drama development. As SVP Drama at ABC Studios, Wandell developed and shepherded such … Read More »
Amazon Studios has greenlighted a pilot for the original children’s series Maker Shack Agency, produced by Electus. It follows the exploits of 13-year-old inventor Angus Wolfe, aka “Wolfie,” and his two best friends and fellow “makers,” Jo and Merle, in the hardscrabble town of Akron. These three teenage thinkers and tinkerers use all branches of science and personal ingenuity to solve their client’s problems by making a new invention every episode. The production crew from Maker Shack Agency will team with research and development company Applied Minds and their scientists, engineers and programmers to design gadgets that will be featured in the show to inspire a new generation of inventors. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: The X Files creator Chris Carter is close to a TV return with his first pilot in more than a decade. I’ve learned that Amazon Studios has moved forward with a pilot order to The After, Carter’s project with Georgeville TV. Carter wrote and is set to direct the thriller, which takes place at the moment of apocalypse. Georgeville TV, founded by Marc Rosen and Reliance’s Motion Picture Capital, first teamed with Carter for The After last fall when the project was taken to MIPCOM by Sierra/Engine TV. The After joins another Amazon drama pilot, recently ordered Bosch, as the company is looking to launch its first hourlong series. Amazon also has Jill Soloway’s comedy pilot Transparent starring Jefferey Tambor, and football comedy The Outlaws, written by Jeremy Garelick and Jon Weinbach and executive produced by Ice Cube, also is gearing up for a pilot shoot.
Related: Amazon Studios Picks Up ‘Alpha House’ & ‘Betas’, 3 Kids Shows
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Amazon Studios is kicking off a new pilot cycle with the order of five original pilots for kids, including the streaming service’s first pilots for older kids, ages 6-11. The new pilots come from a mix of established creators as well as a newcomer discovered though Amazon Studios’ open-door submission process. Like the first batch of kids pilots, all for the preschool set, the pilots will stream on Amazon Instant Video and LoveFilm in the UK. for customers to watch, provide feedback, and help determine which shows should be produced as series. In its first-ever pilot orders in April, Amazon greenlighted 6 kids and 8 comedy pilots, five of which — 3 kids and 2 comedy — went to series to stream later this year and in early 2014. Amazon had been looking to do more comedies and expand into drama. Here are descriptions of Amazon’s newly picked up kids pilots: Read More »
The e-retail giant made a lot of great-sounding entertainment deals over the last few months including agreements to stream shows from Viacom, NBCUniversal, and PBS — and to greenlight original shows that it will begin to offer later this year. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios is adding more projects to its growing slate of original content. I hear they’ve optioned an untitled half-hour dramedy from comedian-writer Jill Soloway. Details are being kept under wraps but … Read More »
Short films are the new scripts at Amazon Studios, which is opening its content development factory to shorts and concept videos for optioning into feature films. The new initiative begins today and works like … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios is moving quickly to expand its original slate. After focusing on comedies and kids programming in its first batch of 14 pilots, five of which — two comedies and 3 kids shows — … Read More »
Amazon Studios this morning officially ordered its first original series, giving series pickups to comedy pilots Alpha House starring John Goodman and Betas, which received the call 10 days ago, and kids pilots Annebots, Creative Galaxy and Tumbleaf. The five series will air exclusively on Prime Instant Video later this year and in early 2014. The shows came out of Amazon’s inaugural slate of 14 pilots — eight comedies and six kids shows — that were made available online on April 19.
Related: Amazon Studios Begins Pilot Pickups; ‘Zombieland’ Writer Blames Pass On Fans
The series pickup decisions were based in part on feedback from viewers in the U.S. and the UK. “We are thrilled at the enthusiastic customer response to our first original pilots,” said Amazon Studios director Roy Price, indicating that the company will continue to make its pilots available to the public. “We built Amazon Studios so that customers could help decide which stories would make the very best movies and TV shows. It’s exciting to see the process in motion, doing exactly what we set out to do. The success of this first set of pilots has given us the push to try this approach with even more shows — this is just the beginning.” Read More »
2ND UPDATE, 11:45 AM: I hear Alpha House has gotten an official pickup, joining Betas. Alpha House follows four senators (John Goodman, Clark Johnson, Matt Malloy, Mark Consuelos) who live together in a rented house in Washington, DC. Zombieland and Browsers did not make the cut.
Related: Full Amazon Pilot Listings
UPDATE, 9 AM: Zombieland writer-producer Rhett Reese took to Twitter to blame the series’ pickup fail on Zombieland fans themselves: “I’ll never understand the vehement hate the pilot received from die-hard Zombieland fans. You guys successfully hated it out of existence.”
UPDATE, THURSDAY PM: There will be no Zombieland TV series, at least not on Amazon. The streaming service has passed on the pilot, as well as Browsers, as it continues to narrow down the field. Read More »
Will this help convince TV networks to open their pilot process to the public too? Amazon Studios, which put its first 14 original scripted pilots online on Friday, said this morning that the pilots were the most-watched TV … Read More »
As broadcast networks are moving onto screening their pilots for next season, Amazon Studios too is kicking off its pilot screening process. But unlike the traditional TV networks’ pilot screenings, which are shrouded in secrecy, Amazon brass are doing theirs out in the open. The company this morning has unveiled its inaugural slate of 14 pilots — eight comedies and six kids shows. All have been made available for free on Amazon Instant Video, LoveFilm UK and LoveFilm Germany. Viewers are being invited to watch the pilots and review them on the site.
There will be “a lot of data points” in Amazon’s decision-making process as to which pilots will be picked up to series,” said Amazon Studios director Roy Price. Amazon will count how many people watched each pilot, how many watched each pilot from start to finish and how many shared it on social media. Additionally, the company will evaluate feedback from an online panel recruited on Amazon preview as well as traditional offline focus groups. Read More »
As it just did with Zombieland, Amazon Studios acknowledged the existence of its comedy pilot Betas after the project was cast and well into production. Set in the land of Silicon Valley start-ups where the right algorithm can make you king, Betas, written by Evan Endicott and Josh Stoddard, follows four computer geeks and their quest for nerd fame as they attempt to crack the ultimate code. Ed Begley Jr, Jon Daly, Joe Dinicol, Margo Harshman, Charlie Saxton and Karan Soni star in the pilot, written by Michael Lehmann (Heathers) who will direct and produce with Alan Freedland & Alan Cohen and Michael London. Betas, the eighth comedy pilot added to Amazon’s roster, will be made available — along with the other seven comedy pilots and six children’s pilots — for free on Amazon Instant Video and Lovefilm UK/Germany. Read More »
While the Amazon Studios pilot Zombieland, based on the hit 2009 Sony movie, has already been cast and filmed, this is the first time the company has acknowledged its existence. The pilot hails from Sony Pictures TV, marking the first Amazon original project from a major studio. Here is the release:
SEATTLE—March 25, 2013—Amazon Studios, the original movie and series production arm of Amazon.com, today announced it will add cult classic Zombieland to the line-up of pilots already in production for Prime Instant Video. Zombieland, which is the seventh comedy pilot added to Amazon’s pilot line-up, will be made available (along with the other six comedy pilots and six children’s pilots) for free on Amazon Instant Video and LOVEFiLM UK. Customers are invited to view the pilots and then review them on the site; customer feedback will help determine which of the 13 pilots Amazon Studios will make into full-season productions, to air on Prime Instant Video.
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