Shane Black, Sacha Baron Cohen and Louis CK line up new Amazon pilots
James R | On 23, Sep 2015
Shane Black, Sacaha Baron Cohen and Louis CK are all part of the line-up for Amazon’s new season of TV pilots.
Following Amazon’s five Primetime Emmy wins, six pilots will launch from acclaimed creators Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3), Louis CK (Louie), Diablo Cody (Juno), Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator), Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty), , Tig Notaro (Boyish Girl Interrupted), Christine Vachon (Still Alice), and Nicole Yorkin & Dawn Prestwich (The Killing)
Shows feature noted talent including Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Flea (The Big Lebowski), Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Shaquille O’Neal (Blended), Terry O’Quinn (Lost), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live),
The season, which is scheduled to debut later this year, seems designed to showcase Amazon’s variety of programming, with pilots ranging from Good Girls Revolt, set in 1969 about a group of young women seeking to be treated fairly, and Z, a half-hour bio-series pilot of Lost Generation legend Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, to a western set in the post-Civil War era. Indeed, the announcement follows Amazon’s five Primetime Emmy wins, as Prime Instant Video steps up its competition with Netflix to provide the most eye-catching original content.
The talent involved also continues to impress, with actors such as Mary Lynn Rajskub (24), Christina Ricci (Monster) and David Strathairn (The Bourne Ultimatum) in front of the camera and Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said) and Bob Nelson (Nebraska) behind the lens.
Amazon customers will once again be invited to watch and provide feedback on the shows they want to see turned into full series for Prime Instant Video subscribers.
“Our latest pilot season brings together a diverse group of shows that we think customers will really enjoy,” says Roy Price, Vice President, Amazon Studios. “We have something for everyone in this season and I am excited to see which shows spark conversation amongst our customers and what they want to be made into series.”
The line-up is as follows:
Edge: The Loner
Based on George G. Gilman’s best-selling book series of the same name, Edge: The Loner stars Max Martini (Pacific Rim) as Josiah ‘Edge’ Hedges, a Union officer turned cowboy, who prowls the post-Civil War American West doling out his own peculiar (and savage) brand of justice. It also stars Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) as Merritt Harknett, and Yvonne Strahovski (The Astronaut Wives Club, Chuck) as Beth.
The show was developed by Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Iron Man 3) and Fred Dekker (Tales from the Crypt, Star Trek: Enterprise) with a teleplay by Dekker and Black. It is directed by Black and executive produced by Black, Dekker, Barry Josephson (Bones, Turn: Washington Spies), and David Greenblatt (Battle Los Angeles).
Good Girls Revolt
In 1969, while a cultural revolution with a soundtrack to match swept through the free world, there was still one place that refused to change with the times: newsrooms. Good Girls Revolt follows a group of young female researchers at “News of the Week,” who simply ask to be treated fairly.
The pilot stars Genevieve Angelson (Backstrom) as Patti, Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect) as Jane, Erin Darke (We Need to Talk About Kevin) as Cindy, Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley) as Finn, Hunter Parrish (Weeds) as Doug, Jim Belushi (Show Me a Hero) as Wick McFadden, Joy Bryant (Parenthood) as Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Grace Gummer as Nora Ephron.
A co-production with TriStar Television, Good Girls Revolt is written and created by Dana Calvo (Made in Jersey), directed by Liza Johnson (Return), and executive produced by Calvo, Lynda Obst (Interstellar), Darlene Hunt (The Big C), Don Kurt (Justified) and Jeff Okin (Dark Skies, Stanley Park). The pilot is inspired by the landmark sexual discrimination cases chronicled in Lynn Povich’s book, The Good Girls Revolt.
Highston Liggetts (newcomer Lewis Pullman) is a 19-year-old with a wide circle of celebrity friends… that only he can see. His parents, Jean (Mary Lynn Rajskub, 24), and Wilbur (Chris Parnell, Saturday Night Live) force him to get psychiatric help, but his Uncle Billy (Curtis Armstrong, American Dad!) thinks he’s just fine.
The pilot guest stars Shaquille O’Neal (Thunderstruck) and Flea (The Big Lewbowski) and is written by Oscar-nominee Bob Nelson (Nebraska), directed by Independent Spirit Award winners Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine), and executive produced by Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator), Todd Hoffman (Love Stinks), Nelson, and Todd Schulman (Bruno).
A dark comedy, loosely inspired by Tig Notaro’s (Boyish Girl Interrupted) life, One Mississippi follows Tig as she deals with the complex reentry into her childhood hometown of Bay Saint Lucille, Mississippi, to deal with the unexpected death of her mother, the interminable life of the party, Caroline.
Reeling from her own recently declining health, Tig struggles to find her footing with the loss of the one person who actually understood her, with help from her older but not always wiser brother, Remy, played by Noah Harpster (Transparent), and her emotionally distant stepfather, Bill. A surprise visit from Tig’s girlfriend, Brooke, played by Casey Wilson (Gone Girl), only compounds the reality of how out of place Tig is in a world without her mother.
A co-production with FX Productions, One Mississippi is written and executive produced by Notaro and Diablo Cody (Juno), executive produced by Louis CK (Louie), Blair Breard (Louie), and Dave Becky (Everybody Hates Chris), with pilot directed and executive produced by Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said).
This political thriller follows intelligence officer John Tavner (Australian newcomer Michael Dorman, Wonderland). His latest assignment? Prevent Iran from going nuclear, requiring him to forgo all safety nets and assume a perilous non-official cover – that of a mid-level employee at a Midwestern industrial piping firm.
A bout with PTSD, the Federal government’s incompetence, and the intricacies of keeping a day job in the “front” industrial piping company, cause a barrage of ever-escalating fiascos that jeopardise Tavner’s mission.
The pilot also stars Terry O’Quinn (Lost) as Tom Tavner, John’s State Department Director of Intelligence father, Michael Chernus (Manhattan Project), as John’s older brother Edward Tavner, a young Texas congressman, Kathleen Munroe (Call Me Fitz), as John’s wife Alice, Aliette Opheim (Sandor slash Ida) as Agathe, a brilliant young homicide detective from Luxembourg hot on John’s trail, and Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show) as Mr. Claret, John’s stickler of a new “boss” at the piping firm.
Patriot is written and directed by Steven Conrad (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Weather Man), and executive produced by Conrad, Gil Bellows (Temple Grandin), Glen Ficarra (Crazy Stupid Love, Focus), Charlie Gogolak (Focus), and John Requa (Crazy Stupid Love, Focus).
Z is a bio-series pilot based on the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the Southern Belle who becomes the original flapper and icon of the wild, flamboyant Jazz Age in the 20s. Starring Christina Ricci (Monster) as Zelda Sayre, Z starts before she meets the unpublished writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gavin Stenhouse, Allegiance), and moves through their passionate, turbulent love affair and their marriage—made in heaven, lived out in hell as the celebrity couple of their time.
Z is written by Dawn Prestwich (The Killing) and Nicole Yorkin (The Killing), directed by Tim Blake Nelson (Anesthesia), and executive produced by Pamela Koffler (Still Alice) and Christine Vachon (One Hour Photo) of Killer Films, as well as Ricci. The show also guest stars David Strathairn (Good Night and Good Luck) as Judge Anthony Dickerson Sayre, Kristine Nielsen (Savages) as Minnie Sayre, Maya Kazan (The Knick) as Livye Hart, Sarah Schenkkan (30 Rock) as Eleanor Browder, Jamie Anne Allman (The Killing) as Tootsie Sayre, and Holly Curran (Alpha House) as Tilde Sayre.