‘The Man In The High Castle’, ‘Mad Dogs’ & More Picked Up To Series At Amazon Studios

Man In The High Castle (FT)

And the winners of Amazon’s latest pilot season are…

Amazon Studios has handed out series orders to Frank Spotnitz’s The Man In The High Castle, the US adaptation of Sky1’s Mad Dogs from Shawn Ryan and Cris Cole, documentary The New Yorker Presents, and Kids projects Just Add Magic and The Stinky & Dirty Show.

All five projects were recently made available to the public on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the US, UK and Germany as part of Amazon Studio’s latest pilot season. Under Amazon’s pilot model those members of the public were then invited to provide feedback on the pilots, helping Amazon’s execs decide which ones would go to series.

“During the latest pilot season, Amazon customers made The Man in the High Castle our most watched pilot ever,” said Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon Studios. “These new series, including our first docu-series, are some of our most ambitious to date and I’m looking forward to their premieres in the future.”

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.The hour-long drama stars Alexa Davalos, Luke Kleintank, Rupert Evans, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Joel De La Fuente, Rufus Sewell and DJ Qualls.

Mad Dogs, based on the UK series, follows the twisted reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends 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.

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.