Amazon has given the pilots of Red Oaks and Hand of God the green light to be turned into full series.
Amazon’s unusual commissioning process invites people to watch their pilots and rate them, which guides the decision on which ones to develop. The shows, which were two of the best from the latest batch of pilots (alongside Whit Stillman’s Cosmopolitans), received the strongest feedback from viewers.
They also marked some of the biggest and brightest talent involved.
Hand of God is a dramatic thriller written by Ben Watkins (Burn Notice) and created by Marc Forster (World War Z) and stars Ron Perlman as a judge who believes God is telling him to sort the corrupt city out.
“Hand of God is far from groundbreaking, but it’s quite intriguing,” we wrote in our review of the first episode.
Coming-of-age comedy Red Oaks is directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Joe) and produced by Steven Soderbergh and stars Craig Roberts (Submarine) as a tennis coach in a 1980s country club.
“It’s a treat to see a leading role that showcases the Submarine star, a part that allows him to build on his neurotic presence with likeable depth,” we wrote in our Red Oaks review.
“A post-modern The Wonder Years? A 21st Century John Hughes? In a blissfully short half-hour, Red Oaks feels like it could be both and more.”
“We are excited to get working on full seasons of Hand of God and Red Oaks,” said Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon Studios.
“These shows come from some of the most talented creators in the business. Customers loved the pilot episodes and we can’t wait to hear what they think of the entire series.”
This past February, Amazon customers posted comments during the second pilot season, which helped Amazon decide to greenlight six series — Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Bosch, The After, and kids series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and Wishenpoof!
The announcement that Red Oaks and Hand of God will get the same treatment follows the release of Amazon’s Transparent, not only their best original show to date but one of the most important TV shows of this year. (Read our interview with director Jill Soloway and star Jeffrey Tambor.)
You can watch all of the Amazon pilots so far on the Amazon Prime Instant Video website without the need for a subscription.