Amazon has announced the line-up for its summer 2016 pilot season – and Kelsey Grammar, Mike Newell and Michael Peña are just some of the names behind the new shows.
The pilots include two one-hour episodes for adults and no fewer than six for kids. The adult pilots come from a accomplished roster of creative talent that includes Captain Phillips’ Billy Ray, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’s Mike Newell, Master of Sex’s Richard Levine and Lyn Greene. In front of the camera you’ll find Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), Golden Globe winner Matt Bomer, Emmy nominee Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), New Girl’s David Krumholtz and Mad Men’s Jessica Pare.
Creative talent helming the new kids’ pilots include Tsuneo Goda (Godo), Jonathan Judge (School of Rock), Andreas Trolf (Sanjay and Craig), Ben Gruber (Spongebob Squarepants), Thomas Borowski and Caroline Foley (Rick and Morty), and they feature voice talent such as David Arquette (Scream), Thomas Lennon (Bob’s Burgers), Zoë Kravitz (Divergent), Michael Peña (Ant Man) and Erik Griffin (Workaholics). Oh, and a character called Jazz Duck, who’s part-duck, part-saxophone. More on him later.
The pilots will all be released on 17th June, with anyone able to watch them for free and review and rate them. That feedback is then used by Amazon to choose which ones to commission for full series, which will then be available exclusively to Amazon Prime Video subscribers and Amazon Prime members.
“Our process has proven to work time and time again. Their feedback has helped create series that have become fan favorites among critics and customers,” says Roy Price, Vice President, Digital Video and Amazon Studios.
Here’s the full line-up of pilots on the way in June:
The Interestings (Available in 4K and HDR)
Adapted from Meg Wolitzer’s 2013 New York Times best-seller and a co-production with TriStar Television, The Interestings follows a group of artistic teenagers who meet at summer camp in 1974. As they transition into adulthood over the course of the next few decades, their friendships are tested by tragedy, success, failure and secrecy. At the heart is Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) as Jules Jacobson, an aspiring actress who uses her wit to compensate for what she is lacking in glamour, money and the talent her other friends seem to have in spades.
BAFTA winner Mike Newell directed the pilot, which is written by Lyn Greene and Richard Levine (Masters of Sex, Boss, Nip Tuck). In addition to Greene, Levine and Newell, Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Lindsay Sloane (Covert Affairs) serve as executive producers.
The supporting cast includes David Krumholtz (Numb3rs), Jessica Pare (Mad Men), Matt Barr (Sleepy Hallow), Gabriel Ebert (Ricki and the Flash), Jessica Collins (Rubicon) and Corey Cott (Public Morals).
The Last Tycoon (Available in 4K and HDR)
An adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s last work, The Last Tycoon follows Hollywood golden boy Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer), as he battles father figure and boss Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammar) for the soul of their studio. In a world darkened by the Great Depression and the growing international influence of Hitler’s Germany, The Last Tycoon shines a light on the passions, violence, and towering ambition of 1930’s Hollywood. Lily Collins (The Blind Side) also stars as Cecelia Brady.
Another co-production with TriStar Television, The Last Tycoon is written and directed by Academy Award nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips), and executive produced by Ray and Christopher Keyser (Tyrant), who serve as showrunners, Joshua D. Maurer (Rosemary’s Baby), Alixandre Witlin (Rosemary’s Baby), and David A. Stern (Rosemary’s Baby). Mad Men’s Scott Hornbacher serves as co-executive producer of the pilot, along with Perri Kipperman (Billions). Pulitzer winner Fitzgerald scholar A. Scott Berg serves as consulting producer.
Sigmund and the Sea Monsters (for kids aged 6-11)
Sid & Marty Krofft present Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, a live action show for kids aged 6 to 11. Based on the classic Saturday morning series from the 1970s and written by Garrett Frawley and Brian Turner (Santa Baby), the show follows two brothers, Johnny and Scotty, who discover and befriend Sigmund, a friendly, young sea-monster, who escapes from his old life and his comically dysfunctional brothers Slurp and Blurp. Now, using a clubhouse as their hiding place, the boys must keep Sigmund safe from an ambitious monster hunter, Captain Barnabas.
The show is Exec Produced by Sid & Marty Krofft (H.R. Pufnstuf, Land of the Lost) with the pilot being directed by Jonathan Judge (School of Rock) and starring David Arquette (Scream) as Captain Barnabas.
Little Big Awesome (for kids aged 6-11)
Little Big Awesome is a comedy for kids aged 6 to 11 that combines 2D animation, puppetry, and live-action footage, as we explore the whimsically weird world of Ballopolis. Our show follows Gluko, a jelly giant, and Lennon, a small, kid-like creature with a fuzzy hat, who are inseparable buddies. They adventure through a universe where sea turtles fly, flowers talk, and tear drops splash around on a hot summer day.
Gluko and Lennon’s desire to help those around them can, at times, lead them to epically outlandish places, but at the end of the day, this show is about two best buds making their own fun and enjoying the wonderfully strange world around them. Created by Tomas Dieguez (TRONCO), written by Ben Gruber (Spongebob Squarepants), and animated by Emmy award winning studio Titmouse (Randy Cunningham and Metalocalypse).
Morris and the Cow (for kids aged 6-11)
This animated comedy for kids aged 6 to 11 follows Morris, a 10 year-old determined to follow his passion and become a cowboy. Wearing homemade chaps and joined by his best friend, a talking cow named Florence, the two of them explore the city of South Krumpton, while confronting everyday problems with a mix of grit, determination, and country wisdom.
The show is created and written by Andreas Trolf (Sanjay and Craig) and Luke Watson (Memphis Beat), with production and animation by Emmy-winning Bento Box Entertainment (Bob’s Burgers). Featuring the voice talent of Jermaine Fowler (Robot Chicken) as Morris, Riki Lindhome (Adventure Time) as Florence, and Thomas Lennon (Bob’s Burgers) as Jimmy Ray Royce. Also starring Zoë Kravitz (Divergent), Michael Peña (Ant Man), and Erik Griffin (Workaholics).
Toasty Tales (for kids aged 6-11)
Toasty Tales is an animated comedy for kids aged 6 to 11 about Waffle, Burger and Pants – three best friends living in the long forgotten Move-Along National Park, who happen to be Marshmallows. Every day is a new adventure filled with strange creatures, perilous excursions, and epic tomfoolery, always served with a side of pancakes, hot off the griddle! Together, the trio explore the mysteries of Move-Along, and spin tall tales that may well have a hint of truth.
Created by Thomas Borowski and Caroline Foley (Rick and Morty), written by Merriwether Williams (Spongebob Squarepants) and animated by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (Robot Chicken).
The Curious Kitty and Friends (for preschool-aged kids)
The Curious Kitty and Friends is a preschool, stop-motion animation, where we will join the upbeat and colourful adventures of kitty cat Komaneko, as she explores the wonderful world with her friends, Mimmi Bear, Radibo, and Yeti. With her trusty video camera and knapsack in tow, creative and curious Komaneko makes her own movies, usually starring her two favourite dolls, Wink and Ink.
The show is produced by dwarf studios and comes from the mind of Tsuneo Goda, the creator and director of DOMO. Other talent behind the series includes lead animator Hiro Minegishi, composer Kevin Kiner (Star Wars Rebels, Jane the Virgin) and writer Kent Redeker (Doc McStuffins, Special Agent Oso).
Jazz Duck (for preschool-aged kids)
Jazz Duck is an animated series that encourages preschoolers to listen and express themselves, as they explore the sounds and musical potential of their world. Jazz Duck is part-duck, part-saxophone, and loads of physical fun. With the friendship of the Narrator and his animal friends, he embarks on adventures through the noisy Big City that culminate in a musical jam.
Created by Tom Jobbins, co-directing with Mark Perrett, the show is animated by award-winning studio Nexus Productions and features a kid-filled voice cast, including Myla Beau, Britain Dalton, Tony Espinosa, Aiden Ledowski, and Ava Priestley with saxophonist Ross Hughes as Jazz Duck.