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Amazon Debuts 5 New Pilots Today. Watch Andre Royo & Emayatzy Corinealdi in Thriller ‘Hand of God’

Amazon Debuts 5 New Pilots Today. Watch Andre Royo & Emayatzy Corinealdi in Thriller 'Hand of God'

Amazon’s third pilot season launches today, August 28 on Amazon Instant Video in the US and the UK. 3 half hour comedies and 2 hour-long thrillers are now available for US and UK customers to watch, rate and review.

The 5 new pilots include half hour comedies, “The Cosmopolitans,” “Really” and “Red Oaks,” and hour-long dramatic thrillers “Hand of God” and “Hysteria.”

Of note for readers of this blog is “Hand of God,” which Andre Royo and Emayatzy Corinealdi will appear in. The show centers on the powerful Judge Pernell Harris, a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side, who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. With no real evidence to go on, Pernell begins to rely on “visions” and “messages” he believes are being sent by God through Pernell’s ventilator-bound son. 

It marks the television debut of filmmaker Marc Forster (“Monster’s Ball,” “Finding Neverland,” “World War Z”) and written by Ben Watkins. Royo and Corinealdi will join “Hand of God” stars Ron Perlman in his first lead television role since “Sons of Anarchy”

Andre Royo plays the slick, smart, gregarious, and greedy mayor Robert “Bobo” Boston, and Emayatzy Corinealdi is Tessie, Judge Pernell’s high-end call girl and confidante.  

Dana Delany, Garret Dillahunt, Alona Tal, Julian Morris, Elizabeth McLaughlin also co-star.

Director Marc Forster, writer Ben Watkins, along with star Perlman, as well as Brian Wilkins and Jeff King are Executive Producers, and Jillian Kugler is co-Executive Producer.

“We are delighted to be able to bring Amazon customers new shows from some of Hollywood’s most talented actors and creators,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “There is something for everyone in this season and I can’t wait to hear our customers’ feedback when they premiere later this month.”

As part of its unique development process, Amazon gives customers an opportunity to provide feedback on which pilots they want turned into series on Prime Instant Video. During pilot season, any Amazon customer can watch, rate and comment on the pilots. At the end of pilot season, that feedback helps determine the shows that become an Amazon Original Series. This past April, Amazon customers posted tens of thousands of comments during the second pilot season, which helped Amazon decide to green light six series: “Transparent,” ” in the Jungle,” “Bosch” (which Jamie Hector co-stars in), “The After” (which MozartAldis Hodge co-stars in), and kids series “Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on  and “Wishenpoof!”Normal Street”

So if you’re an Amazon Prime customer (I am), be sure to check out these pilots (“Hand of God” is at the top of my list), then vote for those you like best, and believe should become full series.

In addition to “Hand of God,” Amazon’s third pilot season includes the following shows:

“The Cosmopolitans”

Written, directed and produced by Academy Award nominee Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco), The Cosmopolitans follows a group of young American expatriates in contemporary Paris searching for love and friendship in a foreign city. The romantic comedy pilot stars Adam Brody as “Jimmy,” Chloë Sevigny as “Vicky,” Carrie MacLemore as “Aubrey,” Dree Hemingway as “Camille,” Freddy Åsblom as “Fritz,” Jordan Rountree as “Hal,” and Adriano Giannini as “Sandro.” The pilot was filmed on location in Paris.


Hysteria takes viewers to Austin, Texas where social connection has become contagious. In the pilot, members of a girls’ competitive dance team are stricken with a strange, psycho-physiological illness that manifests itself in violent fits and spasms and then begins spreading in the community through technology. Neurologist Logan Harlen (played by Mena Suvari) returns to her hometown to investigate the cause. Fighting her own demons and the growing manipulation of a brother on death row, Logan develops an uneasy suspicion that the hysteria surrounding the girls might actually be linked to social media and her own tragic past. Hysteria is written by Shaun Cassidy, who is known for genre thrillers such as Invasion and American Gothic, and directed by Otto Bathurst, who won the BAFTA Award for his work on the critically-acclaimed U.K. mini-series Peaky Blinders. The show also stars James McDaniel (Orange Is The New Black) as “Carl Sapsi,” Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises) as “Ray Ratajeck,” Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as “Matt Sanchez,” Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace) as “Grace Pelayo” andT.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as “Carter Harlen.” The show is written by Cassidy, who is also Executive Producer alongside Adam Schroeder, Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bryan Zuriff, and Bathurst. In addition to Suvari, McDaniel, Stewart, Canto, San Giacomo and Knight, Hysteria also stars Ella Rae Peck and Jenessa Grant. Pilot guest stars include Jason Douglas, Heather Kafka, Asjha Cooper, and Evie Thompson. Amazon Studios is collaborating with Universal Television and Alcon Television Group on the production of Hysteria.


Written, directed and starring Jay Chandrasekhar, Really is a funny, extremely, honest behind-the-curtain look at the complexities of marriage and the charged dynamics of a tight-knit group of friends. The show is about four hard-charging suburban Chicago couples trying to grasp on-to their dwindling youth. At the center are the happily but messily married couple “Jed,” played by Chandrasekhar, and “Lori,” played by Sarah Chalke. When Jed is faced with the choice of keeping his pal’s secret or destroying his friend group, he winds up digging himself into a very deep hole. Really explores marriage, friendship and the stifling peculiarities of suburban Chicago life. The pilot also starsSelma Blair, Travis Schuldt, Hayes MacArthur, Collette Wolfe, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane and Rob Delaney. Really comes from Main Street Films’ Craig Chang and Harrison Kordestani, and Executive Producer Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings).

“Red Oaks”

Directed by Sundance award-winner David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Eastbound and Down) and produced by Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven), Red Oaks starsCraig Roberts (Submarine) as “David Myers,” an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey in 1985, who is both reeling from his father’s heart attack and conflicted about what major to declare in the fall. While there, he meets a colorful cast of misfit co-workers and wealthy club members including an alluring art student named “Skye” (played by guest star Alexandra Socha) and her corporate raider father “Getty” played by Paul Reiser (Mad About You). A coming-of-age comedy set in the “go-go” 80s that is equal parts hijinks and heartfelt, Red Oaks is about enjoying a last hurrah before summer comes to an end—and the future begins. Red Oaks also stars Jennifer Grey (It’s Like, You Know) as “Judy Myers,” Richard Kind (Luck) as “Sam Myers,” Oliver Cooper (Californication) as “Wheeler,” Gage Golightly as “Karen,” and Ennis Esmer as “Nash.” Red Oaks is written by Gregory Jacobs (The Knick) and Joe Gangemi (Eliza Graves). Soderbergh, Green, Jacobs, and Gangemi are Executive Producers.

Now go watch, rate and comment.

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Hand of God is the best pilot Amazon has made so far. Still doesn't get me to subscribe (I bailed halfway thru) but it's the furthest I've gotten with any of their stuff. What a trip to think Bubbles has clawed his way out of the mean streams of Ballmore to become mayor of San Francisco (if I heard that right). Garret Dillahunt's scenes were awesome. Still not enough to sell me but it's the right direction. PS the other pilots sucked.

Adam Scott Thompson

I'll watch anything Garret Dillahunt has co-signed for.

Dave's Deluxe

Well, S&A, I tuned in to "watch" Emayatzy as you instructed, and let me tell you I was NOT disappointed! Her scene was only about 5 minutes long, but I got to see the biscuits AND the beef! This is EXACTLY why I tuned in: because I always wondered what Emayatzy's naked boobs looked like with a white man's face between them, and I always wondered what her ass looks like in thong as she pulls on her clothes with the white gaze upon her. No other actress bared the goods, but honestly, who the hell else did we want to butt nekkit on that show? Andre Royo? HELL NAW! Honestly, you just can't please some black people.

This show is exactly what I expected from one of the black writers of "Burn Notice"!

Also, what is "Burn Notice"?

Up In The Balcony

Hear Ye Hear Ye, the court is now in session. The people of the State of Black consciousness vs. Ben Watkins.

The case in front of the court: Is it Grand Larceny — or — The Legal Pimping of African Americans.

Defense Attorney Mr. Black Waldorf.
State's Attorney Mr. Black Statler.

Your Honor, the state will clearly show that Ben Watkins is complicit in the crime of, well, pimping for profit. Our first witness is a wise-cracking yet-level-headed BUTLER. He was on TV for seven years, his name is Robert Guillaume, better known as Benson the Butler.

OBJECTION YOUR HONOR! No relevance to this case, says Mr. Waldorf.

Okay, for our next witness we'd like to call 2 women at one time. They're quite amusing, one even served her employer a plate of hot dookie. We call Aibileen Clark, better known as Viola Davis, and Minny Jackson, better known as Octavia Spencer, they're both housemaids.

OBJECTION YOUR HONOR! They have no relevance to this case, yells Black Waldorf.

Okay, says Mr. Statler, we now call the illiterate Hoke Colburn, better known as Morgan Freeman, who after facing daily doses of dehumanizing remarks from his employer, Miss Daisy, he sometimes uses subtle wise cracks to settle the score.

OBJECTION-OBJECTION-OBJECTION YOUR HONOR! The State is tainting the minds of the jurors by this parade of, well, stereotypical under-class citizen.

But your honor — says black Statler — my next and last witness worked in The White House, so I doubt he'd be considered an underclass citizen. In fact, he was a good 'ol passive aggressive BUTLER known as the head butler, aka Cecil Gaines, aka Forest Whitaker.

YOUR HONOR, please, stop this… says the nervous defense attorney.

Okay… forget I said that — says Statler — and I am not even going to mention the attractive multi-layered African American woman who won an Oscar while showing all her cookies and doing the nasty. But I have to mention that The Help made 170 million on a 25 million investmant. Driving Miss Daisy made 110 million on a 8 million investment. And the Butler pocketed a cool 176 million on a 30 million investment. Shiiiiit, sounds like a whole lotta pimping going on, if you ask me.

But ladies and gentleman of the jury — black waldorf breaks in — Ben Watkins said one of his favorite characters in Hand Of God, the movie would should be talking about, is a high-end call girl who just happens to be black. And yada-yada-yada, game game game… eventually she's a powerful woman who is one of the biggest factors in the show. Now, with that, the defense rests its case.

The State's Attorney Black Statler closes… Ladies and Gentlemen, as you have clearly seen, the pimping of African Americans on film has been happening since the creation of the movie-making business. The creators of these projects would have one believe that if black maids, butlers, mammies, chauffeurs, ho's, call girls (high-class call girls mind you) have a tiny morsel of dignity, self-respect and "power" in 5 minutes of a 2 hour movie, the fact that they're STILL HO'S, MAIDS, CHAUFFEURS and freakin' BUTLERS, should be stricken from the record. Don't fall for it. We're asking that the defendant, Ben Watkins, be found GUILTY as charged.

The procecution rests its case.

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