After previously announcing that their next wave of pilots would launch in early 2015, Amazon Prime Instant Video has set a January debut date for their fourth pilot season.
This new round of pilots, which includes Frank Spotnitz’s The Man In The High Castle, Shawn Ryan’s US version of Sky1’s hit series Mad Dogs and Bates Motel and Lost executive producer Carlton Cuse’s new drama Point of Honor, will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the US, the UK and Germany on Thursday January 15th.
In addition to the above mentioned projects, this new pilot season includes an hour-long dark comedy pilot (Cocked), two half-hour comedy pilots (Down Dog, Salem Rogers), a pilot for a documentary series (The New Yorker Presents) and six kids pilots (Buddy: Tech Detective, The Stinky & Dirty Show, Sara Solves It, Niko and the Sword of Light, Table 58, Just Add Magic).
Under Amazon’s model, the streaming arm of the e-commerce giant makes a number of pilots available in the US, the UK and Germany and asks members of the public to provide feedback. That feedback is then used by Amazon executives to determine which of the pilots will go to series. “We are working with great storytellers on some fascinating ideas for the year’s first pilot season,” said Amazon’s Roy Price. “We look forward to seeing our customers’ response to these new projects.”
Full details of the new drama and comedy pilots follows below:
The Man In The High Castle
Based on the Philip K. Dick novel, The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. The script was penned by Hunted creator Frank Spotnitz, who is executive producing alongside Ridley Scott, David W. Zucker, Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute.1
The hour-long drama stars Alexa Davalos (Mob City) as Juliana Crain, Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) as Joe Blake, Rupert Evans (The Village) as Frank Frink, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy) as Tagomi, Joel De La Fuente (Hemlock Grove) as Inspector Kido, Rufus Sewell (Eleventh Hour) as John Smith and DJ Qualls (Z Nation) as Ed McCarthy. The pilot was directed by Madam Secretary helmer David Semel.
Created by Samuel Baum and Sam Shaw, Cocked stars Sam Trammell (True Blood) as Richard Paxson, a family man and corporate lap dog who left his family in rural Colorado twenty years before and vowed never to go back. After some unfortunate circumstances, he is forced to leave the big city and return home to help his family’s gun business—one of the oldest in the country. But no good deed goes unpunished. Older brother Grady Paxton, played by Jason Lee (My Name is Earl), who’s a bachelor, playboy and gun aficionado, isn’t so happy to have him back, and Richard’s liberal wife and two opinionated teenage children are horrified by the world they have been thrown into. Hilarity, epic fights and emotional breakdowns ensue. Cocked also stars Tony award-winning Brian Dennehy (Death of a Salesman) as Wade Paxson and Laura Fraser (Breaking Bad) as Hannah Paxson, and Dreama Walker (The Good Wife) as Tabby Paxson.
Based on the hit UK series, Mad Dogs follows the twisted reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends—a mixture of single, married and recently divorced—who are all at different crossroads in their lives. Celebrating the early retirement of an old friend at his gorgeous Belize villa, grudges begin to emerge and secrets explode as their trip becomes a labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception and murder. Mad Dogs is a twisted tale of friendship put to the ultimate test. As an inconceivable chain of events unfolds, cracks within the group widen before the friends realize that the only people they can trust are each other, the last people they want to be relying on.
The dramedy stars Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) as Cobi, Billy Zane (Twin Peaks) as Milo, Romany Malco (Weeds) as Gus, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) as Lex and Ben Chaplin as Joel. Mad Dogs is directed by McDougall and is being co-produced with Sony Pictures Television, whose UK indie Left Bank Pictures produced the original series.
Down Dog follows Logan Wood (Josh Casaubon) who, in his late 30’s, having coasted through romances with countless women and various random jobs, now teaches yoga to the trophy wives, hot moms and aspiring celebrities of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. But when Logan and his current girlfriend, a successful and attractive older woman named Amanda (Paget Brewster) who happens to be the owner of the yoga studio, break up, life starts to get more complicated. Down Dog also stars Lyndsy Fonseca, Will Greenberg, Andrea Savage, Amir Talai, Kris Kristofferson and Alysia Reiner. The pilot was written by Robin Schiff, produced by Bob Cooper and Michael Fuchs, and directed by Bradley Silberling.
Point Of Honor
From Carlton Cuse and ABC’s boutique division ABC Signature, Point of Honor is set at the start of the Civil War when a Virginia family, led by their West Point bred son, John Rhodes (Nathan Parsons), makes the controversial decision to defend the South while freeing all of their slaves. At battle against his northern brethren and his best friend and brother-in-law Robert Sumner (Christopher O’Shea), John leaves his three strong-willed sisters at home to run the plantation that is now without a free labor source. The choice to protect the life they have always known and defend the moral high ground will pit the family against one another and test their strength, courage and love.
The hour-long drama also stars Annabelle Stephenson (Revenge) as Kate Rhodes, Riley Voelkel (The Newsroom) as Lorelei Rhodes, Hanna Mangan Lawrence (Old School) as Estella Rhodes, Patrick Heusinger (Revolution) as Colonel Palmer Kane, Luke Benward (Ravenswood) as Garland Rhodes, Adrienne Warren (Black Box) as Abby, Lucien Laviscount (Waterloo Road) as Elijah, and James Harvey Ward (Low Winter Sun) as Cutler.
Leslie Bibb (About a Boy) stars in the half-hour comedy as title character Salem Rogers, an overly confident, blunt, hard-partying former supermodel who is forced to face her past and re-enter the real world after ten years in a posh rehab centre. Intent on recreating her glamorous lifestyle and modeling success, she tracks down Agatha (Rachel Dratch), her former assistant who has since built a career as an author of self-help books to help her win back the spotlight. Salem Rogers also stars Jane Kaczmarek (Malcolm in the Middle), Brad Morris (Playing House), Harry Hamlin (Mad Men), Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors), and Scott Adsit (30 Rock).