During Amazon Studios’ latest pilot season, The Man In The High Castle became the most-watched since the original series development program began. Amazon has now greenlit a full season of the drama from Frank Spotnitz. It has also picked up full seasons of hour-long dark comedy Mad Dogs, from Shawn Ryan; docu-series The New Yorker Presents; and kids shows Just Add Magic, and The Stinky & Dirty Show. The new series will premiere exclusively for Prime Instant members in the U.S., UK and Germany later this year and into 2016.
Additionally, Amazon picked up freshman comedy Mozart in the Jungle for a second season, making it the second series in a row to go to Season 2, along with Transparent.
The newly picked up projects were part of Amazon’s first pilot season of 2015, which also included hourlong pilots Cocked from Samuel Baum and Sam Shaw and Point Of Honor from Carlton Cuse and Randall Wallace as well as half-hour pilots Down Dog from Robin Schiff and Salem Rogers from Will Graham and Lindsey Stoddart and kids pilots Buddy: Tech Detective, Sara Saves It, Table 58 and Niko and the Sward of Light. Of them, we hear only Salem Rogers remains in contention with an order for a second script.
The Mad Dogs pickup marks the 10th pilot directed by Charles McDougall to go to series and the sixth in a row. Here are details about Amazon’s newest original series:
The Man In The High Castle is based on Philip K. Dick’s alternative history novel in which Nazi Germany and Japan were the victors of World War II. Almost 20 years later, much of the globe has been split between the two countries. But tension is mounting for the Axis powers, and the stress is playing out in the U.S. where fascism rules and the few surviving Jews hide under assumed names. (Check out a clip below.)
The drama pilot starred Alexa Davalos (Mob City), Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars), Rupert Evans (The Village), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy), Joel De La Fuente (Hemlock Grove), Rufus Sewell (Eleventh Hour) and DJ Qualls (Z Nation). David Semel directed and exec produced with X-Files alum Spotnitz. Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker are also exec producers with co-executive producer Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free. Executive Producers for Headline Pictures are Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute. Isa Dick Hackett will also executive produce and Kalen Egan will co-executive produce on behalf of Electric Shepherd (the production arm of Dick’s estate). Christopher Tricarico is also executive producer.
Mad Dogs is an hour-long dark comedy/drama from Cris Cole (The Good Times Are Killing Me), and Shawn Ryan (The Shield). Based on the UK original, Mad Dogs follows the reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends in a Belizean villa where grudges begin to emerge and secrets explode as their trip becomes a labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception and murder. The pilot starred Steve Zahn, Billy Zane, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli and Ben Chaplin. It was directed by Charles McDougall (The Good Wife) who is an exec producer with Cole, Ryan, Marney Hochman (Last Resort), Andy Harries (Strikeback) and Suzanne Mackie (Kinky Boots). It’s co-produced with Sony Pictures Television.
The New Yorker Presents is Amazon’s first docu-series which brings the magazine to life. The pilot featured a short film starring Alan Cumming and Brett Gelman; a documentary by Jonathan Demme; and an interview with performance artist, Marina Abramović. The half-hour series is exec produced by Alex Gibney, Dave Snyder (Death Row Stories) and Dawn Ostroff (The Fashion Fund). The pilot was co-produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions.
The kids series going forward are Just Add Magic, for the 6-11 set, and The Stinky & Dirty Show, for preschoolers. Magic is based on Cindy Callaghan’s YA book and adapted by Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son). The single-camera live-action pilot was directed by Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas In Love) and centers on Kelly Quinn and her two BFF’s, who stumble upon her grandmother’s mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover it has some magical recipes. The project stars Olivia Sanabia (Extant), Abby Donnelly (Suburgatory), Aubrey Miller (Austin & Ally), and Judah Bellamy (Home).
The Stinky & Dirty Show, based on the I Stink! book series by Kate & Jim McMullan, is written by Guy Toubes (The Adventures Of Chuck & Friends) and animated by Brown Bag Films (Peter Rabbit). It follows the adventures and mishaps faced by best friends and unlikely heroes, Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty, the backhoe loader.
The Man In The High Castle Clip: