Amazon Studios is releasing 10 pilots for the Internet masses to weigh in on -- including its first two dramas, from Chris Carter ("The X-Files") and Eric Overmyer ("The Wire") -- from which the studio will select the next batch of full series for its Netflix-like subscription service.
Starting Thursday, the studio's pilots will be free for anyone to watch -- and rate -- on Prime Instant Video in the U.S. and Amazon's LoveFilm in the UK. As previously announced, the sophomore slate includes the two dramas (Chris Carter's supernatural thriller "The After" and "Bosch," starring Titus Welliver, pictured above); three comedies ("Mozart in the Jungle," "Transparent" and "The Rebels") and five kids' shows ("Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street," "Hardboiled Eggheads, "The Jo B. & G. Raff Show," "Maker Shack Agency" and "Wishenpoof!").
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Amazon Studios' first pilots premiered in April 2013 with eight comedy pilots and six kids pilots. Of those, "Alpha House" and "Betas" were greenlit into full series, which premiered last fall, along with three kidvid series -- "Annesdroids," "Creative Galaxy" and "Tumble Leaf" -- which are to be available sometime this year.
Amazon Studios director Roy Price expects to make decisions on which of the 10 pilots to greenlight within 60 days, based on viewer feedback and ratings. In the first round of pilots customers submitted thousands of reviews within the first few days and more than 80% of those reviews were 4 and 5 stars. Price said the pilot-selection process worked as expected in the first go-round, he said, and he isn't making any major changes for the second bake-off.
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"The philosophy behind our TV and movie development is to keep the focus on customers, and pay attention to that customer feedback -- to make that part of the ultimate decision process," Price said.
Since its launch in November 2010, more than 20,000 movie scripts and 6,000 series projects have been submitted to Amazon Studios, although obviously only a handful of those have progressed into development. Viewers can watch the pilots at Amazon.com or via the Amazon Instant Video app available on iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, Kindle Fire tablets, various smart TVs and other connected devices.
Cop drama based on Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series, written by Eric Overmyer and Connelly. Pilot follows title character, played by Titus Welliver ("Argo," "The Good Wife") as he pursues the killer of a 13-year-old boy while standing trial in federal court on accusations that he murdered a suspected serial killer in cold blood. Cast includes: Annie Wersching, Amy Price-Francis and Jamie Hector. Henrik Bastin of Fabrik Entertainment ("The Killing") produced and Jim McKay directed the pilot.
Story follows eight strangers thrown together by mysterious forces and who must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation. Written and directed by Chris Carter ("The X-Files"), exec produced by Marc Rosen of Georgeville Television and produced by Gabe Rotter. Cast includes: Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jamie Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar and Louise Monot.
"Mozart in the Jungle"
Dramedy based on the memoir "Mozart in the Jungle" by Blair Tindall about sex, drugs and classical music -- showing what happens behind the curtains at the symphony. Written by Roman Coppola ("Moonrise Kingdom," "The Darjeeling Limited"), actor-musician Jason Schwartzman ("Saving Mr. Banks," "Moonrise Kingdom") and writer-director Alex Timbers (Broadway's "Peter and the Starcatcher"). Paul Weitz ("About a Boy," "Admission") directed the pilot and executive produced. Cast includes: Gael Garcia Bernal, Saffron Burrows, Lola Kirke, Malcom McDowell, Bernadette Peters and Peter Vack.
Dark comedy about an L.A. family with serious boundary issues. Written and directed by Jill Soloway ("Afternoon Delight," "Six Feet Under" and "United States of Tara"). Cast includes: Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass.