There will be seven total pilots screened for your pleasure in early 2015, Amazon Studios announced today. No specific release date was set, but early 2015 was the reported timeframe by Variety.
Projects include Amazon Studios’ first ever docu-series pilot with “The New Yorker Presents,” a half-hour pilot that includes a short film starring Alan Cumming, a poem by Matthew Dickman and a documentary from Oscar-winner Jonathan Demme. Alex Gibney is set to executive produce.
Other notable entries include a Civil War-era drama from “Lost” producer Carlton Cuse titled “Point of Honor,” and “The Man in the High Castle” from Frank Spotnitz, a producer and writer for “The X-Files” (including the feature film “I Want to Believe”). That’s the second “X-Files” alum to find a home with Amazon — the studio ordered Chris Carter’s “The After” to series after a successful pilot run in Season 2 of Amazon’s pilots.
Other highlights include Jason Lee starring alongside Brian Dennehy and Sam Trammel (“True Blood”) in “Cocked,” an hour-long drama from Sam Shaw (“Manhattan”). Perhaps the most intriguing casting, though, comes with “Mad Dogs,” a one-hour dramedy starring Steve Zahn, Billy Zane, and Romany Malco (“Weeds,” “The 40 Year Old Virgin”) about a group of down-on-their-luck friends who get together to celebrate the one person in the group who made something of himself.
All the pilot descriptions, cast lists, and crew members are listed below. Give them a read and then let us know which you’re most excited for by voting in our poll.
“Cocked”: One-hour dark comedy created by Sam Baum (“Lie to Me”) and Sam Shaw (“Manhattan” TV series) stars Sam Trammell (“True Blood”) as Richard Paxson, a family man and corporate lapdog who left his family in rural Virginia 20 years before and vowed never to go back. He’s forced to return home to help run his family’s gun business, but familial conflict ensues. “Cocked” also stars Jason Lee (“My Name is Earl”), Brian Dennehy (“The Good Wife”) as Wade Paxson, Laura Fraser (“Breaking Bad”) and Dreama Walker (“The Good Wife”). The pilot is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“Skull Island”) and executive produced by Erwin Stoff (“Unbroken”), Shaw and Baum.
“Down Dog”: Comedy about late-30s Southern California yoga instructor Logan Wood (played by Josh Casaubon, “I Just Want My Pants Back”) whose life gets complicated after he breaks up with his girlfriend, an older woman named Amanda who owns the yoga studio (played by Paget Brewster, “Criminal Minds”). Pilot also stars Lyndsy Fonseca (“How I Met Your Mother”), Will Greenberg (“Halt and Catch Fire”), Andrea Savage (“The Life and Times of Tim”), Amir Talai (“American Dad”), Kris Kristofferson (“Lone Star”), and Alysia Reiner (“Orange Is the New Black”). The pilot is written by Robin Schiff (“Are You There, Chelsea?”), produced by Bob Cooper (“RFK”) and Michael Fuchs (“Death in the Modern Age”), and directed by Bradley Silberling (“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”).
: Hour-long dramedy based on the U.K. series created by Cris Cole (“The Bill”) follows the twisted reunion of a group of underachieving 40-something friends to celebrate the early retirement of a friend at his gorgeous villa in Belize. The pilot stars Steve Zahn (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Billy Zane (“Twin Peaks”), Romany Malco (“Weeds”), Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) and Ben Chaplin (“World Without End”). “Mad Dogs” is directed by Charles McDougall (“The Mindy Project”) and is being co-produced with Sony Pictures Television
. Executive producers are Cole, Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) and Marney Hochman (“Last Resort”), Andy Harries (“DCI Banks”), Suzanne Mackie (“All in Good Time”) and McDougall.
“The Man in the High Castle”: One-hour drama based on Philip K. Dick’s 1962 novel is set in a post-World War II world after the Allied Powers lost the conflict — with the United States and much of the rest of world now split between Japan and Germany. Pilot stars Alexa Davalos (“Mob City”), Luke Kleintank (“Pretty Little Liars”), Rupert Evans (“The Village”), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (“Mortal Kombat: Legacy”), Joel De La Fuente (“Hemlock Grove”), Rufus Sewell (“Eleventh Hour”) and DJ Qualls (“Z Nation”). Directed by David Semel (“Madam Secretary,” “Heroes”) and written by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), who both serve as executive producers. Executive producers also include Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker, Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute of Headline Pictures (“The Invisible Woman”), and Christopher Tricarico (“May in the Summer”), with co-executive producer Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free Prods. (“The Good Wife,” “The Andromeda Strain”). In addition, Isa Dick Hackett will executive produce and Kalen Egan will co-executive produce on behalf of Electric Shepherd (“The Adjustment Bureau”).
“The New Yorker Presents”: Half-hour docuseries pilot features several segments: a short film featuring actors Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”) and Brett Gelman (“Go On”) based on a story by Simon Rich (“Saturday Night Live”) and directed by Troy Miller (“Arrested Development”); a poem by Matthew Dickman; a documentary by director Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”) about biologist Tyrone Hayes based on a Rachel Aviv article; and an interview with performance artist Marina Abramović, conducted by New Yorker writer Ariel Levy. Documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) is executive producer, joined by Dave Snyder (“Death Row Stories”) and Condé Nast Entertainment president Dawn Ostroff (“The Fashion Fund”). Pilot is co-produced by Condé Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Prods.
“Point of Honor”: Hour-long drama turns on a Virginia family led by their West Point-bred son John Rhodes (played by Nathan Parsons, “True Blood”), who at the outset of the Civil War makes the controversial decision to defend the South while freeing all of their slaves. Shot entirely on-location in Virginia, “Point of Honor” also stars Christopher O’Shea (“Baby Daddy”), Annabelle Stephenson (“Revenge”), Riley Voelkel (“The Newsroom”), Hanna Mangan Lawrence (“Old School”), Patrick Heusinger (“Revolution”), Luke Benward (“Ravenswood”), Adrienne Warren (“Black Box”), Lucien Laviscount (“Waterloo Road”) and James Harvey Ward (“Low Winter Sun”). Pilot is directed by Randall Wallace (Braveheart), written by Carlton Cuse and Wallace, and executive produced by Cuse, Wallace and Barry Jossen (“Sex and the City”). “Point of Honor” is being co-produced with ABC Signature Studios.
“Salem Rogers”: Half-hour comedy stars Leslie Bibb (“About a Boy”) as Salem Rogers, an overly confident, outrageously blunt and hard-partying former supermodel who is forced to face her past and re-enter the real world after 10 years in a posh rehab center. Trying to return to fame, she tracks down her former assistant Agatha (played by Rachel Dratch, “Saturday Night Live”), who is now an author of self-help books. Pilot also stars Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”), Brad Morris (“Playing House”), Harry Hamlin (“Mad Men”), Toks Olagundoye (“The Neighbors”), Brad Morris (“Cougar Town”) and Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”). “Salem Rogers” is written by newcomer Lindsey Stoddart, executive produced by Will Graham (“The Onion News Network”) and directed by Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”). Stoddart submitted “Salem Rogers” through the studio’s online screenplay submission process.
READ MORE: Amazon Pilots Ranked Best to Worst (Season 3)