Amazon’s third pilot season may not be as lucrative in quantity as its second, but the quality stands out — as does Amazon’s measured decision-making.
Amazon announced today it would be moving ahead with three of the five pilots put up for public consumption this past August. “Red Oaks,” from executive producer Steven Soderbergh and directed by David Gordon Green, and “Hand of God, from Marc Forster and starring Ron Perlman, both received series orders, while Whit Stillman’s “The Cosmopolitans” received a request for more scripts. Jay Chandrasekhar (“Super Troopers”) and Shaun Cassidy (“Invasion”) were the losers in the pilot competition, as their shows “Really” and “Hysteria” will not be moving forward at Amazon.
In its second pilot season, Amazon picked up four series: “Transparent,” which just premiered its entire first season to rave reviews, Chris Carter’s “The After,” the detective series “Bosch,” and Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, and Alex Timbers’ “Mozart in the Jungle.” Only one of the five pilots wasn’t picked up (the sports comedy “The Rebels”).
Perhaps most interesting about this morning’s announcement is Amazon’s restraint with Whit Stillman’s “The Cosmopolitans.” In its first two pilot seasons, Amazon either gave a series the go ahead or turned away completely. Now, despite very favorable reviews for Stillman’s show about young American expats searching for love in France, Amazon has only ordered scripts rather than a full series.
Also unlike its second season, Amazon only ordered series with virtually unanimous praise from critics. “The After” stood out in the Season 2 crop as a show without widespread respect, despite the obvious intrigue of a new show from the creator of “The X-Files.” This time, however, both “Red Oaks” and “Hand of God” were met with nearly-unanimous praise.
No announcement has been made on when the shows are expected to air, or when Amazon will decided to pick up or put down “The Cosmopolitans.”