Amazon Studios is passing its network initiation by picking up its first program for a second season, ordering six more pilots to series, and canceling a previous high priority show. The digital distribution online platform announced today that it has ordered a second season of the John Goodman-starring “Alpha House,” about four Republican senators shacking up together in Washington D.C. Production is set to begin in the summer.
“The After” follows eight strangers’ fight for survival in a strange new world while “Bosch” will be written by novelist Michael Connelly, whose long-popular detective series is finally getting a much-needed television version, and former “The Wire” scribe Eric Overmyer.
Joining these two hour-long dramas are “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street” and “Wishenpoof!” — two children’s shows, the former aimed at 6-11 year olds and the latter an animated yarn targeted at preschoolers. Angela Santomero, who created “Blue’s Clues,” is behinnd “Wishenpoof!”
“Mozart in the Jungle” was also picked up, no doubt in part because of the incredible talent writing the half-hour comedy. Roman Coppola, an Oscar-nominee for “Moonrise Kingdom,” Jason Schwartzman, who starred on the dearly missed HBO comedy “Bored to Death,” Tony-nominated writer Alex Timbers, and Paul Weitz, writer of “About a Boy” and “In Good Company,” have all teamed up to tell the tales of the classical music composer like you’ve never seen them.
“Transparent” is the last show picked up by Amazon, and it also sports a notable group. Jill Soloway, who’s worked on “Six Feet Under” and “The United States of Tara” as a writer and producer, brings us the story of a dysfunctional family lead by Jeffrey Tambor. No, it’s not an “Arrested Development” spin-off, but it has good buzz behind it.
“We had a tremendous response to Amazon Studios’ latest pilots — in fact, double the number of customers watched these pilots compared to our first season and they posted thousands of heartfelt reviews with pleas for us to continue these shows,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “Now the fun really begins — Amazon will be working with some of the most talented casts and creators in the business to bring six new shows exclusively to tens of millions of Prime members worldwide. These series, along with our summer kids programming, will give customers a lot of viewing choices.”
Finally, the studio said it would not be moving ahead with “Betas,” one of the first full series ordered by Amazon last year. “Alpha House” and the rest of the series ordered by Amazon are expected to premiere their full seasons in late 2014 or early 2015, and the pilots — as well as the first season of “Alpha House” — are available to watch now.
What do you think of the onslaught of news from Amazon this morning? Will “Betas” be missed? Has one of the pilots struck your fancy? Check out Indiewire’s reviews of al the Amazon pilots — even the pilots that didn’t get picked up — right here.