Hot off its two Golden Globe wins this past Sunday (for Transparent), Amazon has unveiled a brand new slate of pilots for users (prime and non-prime alike) to watch, including new shows from Shawn Ryan and Carlton Cuse. That’s in addition to new series from such talents as Guillermo del Toro and, oddly enough, Woody Allen.
For the next several weeks, all the productions will be open to voting from Amazon customers to ultimately decide which get greenlit to series.
Said Amazon Studios Vice President Roy Price:
We look forward to seeing our customers’ response to the year’s first pilot season [and are] thrilled about these projects and the great talent and passion behind them.
In addition to Shawn Ryan’s Mad Dogs and Carlton Cuse’s Point of Honor, the pilot slate also includes Cocked from Samuel Baum and Sam Shaw, Down Dog from Robin Schiff, The Man in the High Castle from Frank Spotnitz and executive producer Ridley Scott, The New Yorker Presents from Alex Gibney and Salem Rogers from Lindsey Stoddart.
What’s interesting to note about this year’s first pilot slate from Amazon is its rather “hip” nature. The names on the list including Ryan, Cuse and Scott aren’t ones we’d expect from Amazon, especially after the announcement of the studio recently signing a deal with Woody Allen for a new series.
We expect people like Ryan and Cuse to go to Netflix, which has proven to be willing to pay top dollar for major talent like those two. Up until now, Amazon has been more of an experimental studio with a limited number of successes (such as the political satire series Alpha House), but this time around it seems the group opted to go a more traditional route for their series development that will hopefully pay off more in the long run.
Amazon would be lucky to have names like Ryan, Cuse, Scott and Gibney on their network, to go with the awards acclaim for Transparent. It’s the kind of recognition that lends a sense of TV legitimacy to the company, sending a clear message that it isn’t just about chasing gold statues and high profile feature film directors, it’s also about making quality, long-form entertainment.
As of now, we’ve only had an opportunity to watch Shawn Ryan’s Mad Dogs (which he will co-showrun with creator Cris Cole if it goes to series), but if that single show’s any indication, we’re in for a solid run of series from Amazon this year regardless of what gets picked up.