Amazon Announces TV Pilots Lineup For 2015
Denver Post, 11 November 2014
Amazon today announced its pilot lineup for 2015 and our reaction is: So much potential. With big names like Carlton Cuse, Shawn Ryan, Frank Spotnitz and the New Yorker on board, the list is impressive. Customers will again be asked to give feedback on which pilots should be turned into series. It’s a clever way of doing business, getting some buzz going before making a long-term financial commitment. (Then again, “Alpha House” sounded great at first, too.)
Following the critical success of “Transparent,” there’s reason for optimism.
The seven pilots are: four hour-long dramas “Cocked” from Sam Baum (“Lie to Me”) and Sam Shaw (“Manhattan”), “Mad Dogs” from Cris Cole (“The Bill”) and Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”), “The Man in the High Castle” from Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files”), and “Point of Honor” from Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Randall Wallace (“Braveheart”), plus two half-hour comedies, “Down Dog” from Robin Schiff (“Are You There, Chelsea?”) and “Salem Rogers” from newcomer Lindsey Stoddart, and a third half-hour, “The New Yorker Presents,” a mix of scripted narrative and documentary segments, produced in cooperation with the magazine.
The streaming service’s first docu-pilot, with the New Yorker, could be a highlight. Actors including Sam Tramell (“True Blood”), Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”), Rufus Sewell (“Eleventh Hour”), Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”), Brian Dennehy (“The Good Wife”), Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”), are on board various shows.
The list of Amazon’s first pilot season:
“The Man in the High Castle”
Based on Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history, 'The Man in the High Castle' considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Some 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), 'The Man in the High Castle' provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality. The hour-long dramatic pilot stars Alexa Davalos ('Mob City') as Juliana Crain, Luke Kleintank ('Pretty Little Liars') as Joe Blake, Rupert Evans ('The Village') as Frank Frink, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa ('Mortal Kombat Legacy') as Tagomi, Joel De La Fuente ('Hemlock Grove') as Inspector Kido, Rufus Sewell ('Eleventh Hour') as John Smith and DJ Qualls ('Z Nation') as Ed McCarthy. The pilot is directed by David Semel ('Madam Secretary', 'Heroes') and written by Frank Spotnitz ('The X-Files'), both serving as Executive Producers. Also executive producing are Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker, with co-executive producer Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free Productions ('The Good Wife', 'The Andromeda Strain'), and Executive Producers Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute of Headline Pictures ('The Invisible Woman'). In addition, Isa Dick Hackett will executive produce and Kalen Egan will co-executive produce on behalf of Electric Shepherd ('The Adjustment Bureau'). Christopher Tricarico ('May in the Summer') is also Executive Producer.