Michael Patrick King and Glenn Close lead Amazon’s new pilot season
James R | On 24, Oct 2017
Amazon has unveiled its latest season of TV pilots, with projects from an impressive line-up of names that includes Michael Patrick King, Glenn Close and Bobcat Goldthwait.
The season consists of three new half-hour pilots – The Climb, Love You More, and Sea Oak – from creators such as Bridget Everett (Patti Cake$) and Carolyn Strauss (Treme). It marks Amazon’s continuing strategy of using customer feedback to decide which shows to commission as full series, an approach that has resulted in programmes such as Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle. ,
Despite critical acclaim, though, Amazon, has recently begun shifting its focus away from pilots to produce bigger shows that aim to be the next Game of Thrones and Stranger Things – wider hits with more buzz around them. As a result, it is has signed deals with people such as The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman and Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino to create and develop new projects – and, at the same time, it has cancelled a number of smaller, pilot-originated series, such as Hand of God and Good Girls Revolt. Other programmes have also seen a change in showrunner, including The Man in the High Castle, Bosch and, most notably, legal drama Goliath.
“We’re excited about, and committed to, telling diverse and risky stories from the best storytellers in the world,” says Joe Lewis, Head of Comedy, Drama and VR, Amazon Studios. “We can’t wait for customers to see these incredible new universes from Diarra, Bridget, Michael and George.”
The pilots will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on 10th November, with all three available to stream by non-subscribers and subscribers alike.
Here’s a rundown of the line-up:
From creator and star Diarra Kilpatrick (American Koko, The Last O.G.) and The Mark Gordon Company comes a comedy about the new American Dream, set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Detroit. The Climb follows an office assistant who seeks an extraordinary life through internet fame, with her best friend always in tow. Chris Robinson (The New Edition Story, Star) directed the pilot, which shot on location in Detroit. Christina Lee (Search Party, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) served as showrunner on the pilot episode. The Mark Gordon Company (Designated Survivor, Ray Donovan) is producing and serving as the studio on the project along with Amazon Studios.
Watch on Amazon Prime Video
Love You More
Love You More stars New York City cabaret sensation Bridget Everett (Patti Cake$) as Karen Best, with Bobcat Goldthwait (God Bless America) directing and Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City, The Comeback, 2 Broke Girls) showrunning. Karen Best is a big girl with a big personality and a big love of Chardonnay, which occasionally causes her to make some big mistakes with men. But the biggest thing about Karen is her big heart, which she uses to excel at her job as a counsellor at an independent living residence for young adults with Down’s syndrome. And sometimes, Karen’s need to stand up for all the little people in life manifests into a fantasy rock music number, where we discover she also has a big and beautiful voice. Love You More is from MPK Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Amazon Studios. King, Goldthwait and Everett co-wrote the pilot. King and Goldthwait serve as executive producers, and Everett is co-executive producer.
Sea Oak is a genre-bending comedy from renowned author and creator George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo), starring Emmy winner Glenn Close (Damages, The Wife), directed by Golden Globe-winner Hiro Murai (Atlanta) and executive produced by Jonathan Krauss through his Affiliated Pictures banner. Murai will also serve as an executive producer as well as Evan Dunsky (Nurse Jackie). Lael Smith and Keir McFarlane serve as co-executive producers. Aunt Bernie, a working-class woman in a Rust Belt city (meek, unmarried, no kids) dies tragically in a home invasion. Compelled by sheer force of dissatisfaction, she comes back from the dead full of rage, determined to get the life she never had. She proceeds to inflict a range of demands on what’s left of her nuclear family (a quasi-stripper nephew and two feckless nieces), who live in a low-end subsidised hellhole of a housing complex called Sea Oak.