Amazon Studios announced two hour-long dramas co-produced with TriStar Television — “The Last Tycoon” based F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final work and “The Interestings,” adapted from Meg Wolitzer’s best-selling novel — along with six kids’ shows that will be in the latest wave of pilots set to launch next month.
The new shows are scheduled to debut on June 17 exclusively on Amazon Video in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Austria and Japan. Any users can watch the shows, then rate them; Amazon then takes that feedback and weighs that in deciding whether to greenlight them to full series.
“The Last Tycoon” starring Matt Bomer (“White Collar”) and “The Interestings,” starring Lauren Ambrose (“Six Feet Under,” pictured above) will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR. Those will be joined by new kids pilots: live-action show “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters” and animated pilots “The Curious Kitty and Friends,” “Jazz Duck,” “Morris and the Cow,” “Toasty Tales” and “Little Big Awesome.”
“We’re focused on bringing customers compelling, must-see TV and we accomplish this by going directly to them for input,” said Roy Price, VP of digital video and Amazon Studios. “Our process has proven to work time and time again. Their feedback has helped create series that have become fan favorites among critics and customers.”
“The Last Tycoon,” a co-production with TriStar Television, is written and directed by Billy Ray (“Captain Phillips,” “The Hunger Games”), and executive produced by Ray and Christopher Keyser (“Tyrant,” “Party of Five”), who serve as showrunners, along with Joshua D. Maurer, Alixandre Witlin and David A. Stern. “Mad Men’s” Scott Hornbacher serves as co-executive producer of the pilot, along with Perri Kipperman (“Billions”). Pulitzer-winning Fitzgerald scholar A. Scott Berg serves as consulting producer
The show follows Hollywood’s Golden Boy, Monroe Stahr (Bomer) as he battles father figure and boss, Pat Brady (Kelsey Grammer, “Frasier”) for the soul of their studio. Lily Collins (“The Blind Side”) stars as Cecelia Brady.
“The Interestings,” also co-producted with TriStar Television, follows a group of artistic teenagers who meet at summer camp in 1974. As they transition into adulthood over the course of the next few decades, their friendships are tested by tragedy, success, failure and secrecy. BAFTA winner Mike Newell (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fires,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) directed the pilot written by Lyn Greene and Richard Levine (“Masters of Sex,” “Boss,” “Nip Tuck”).
In addition to Greene, Levine and Newell, Michael De Luca (“The Social Network”) and Lindsay Sloane (Covert Affairs) serve as executive producers. “The Interestings” also stars David Krumholtz (“Numb3rs”), Jessica Pare (“Mad Men”), Matt Barr (“Sleepy Hallow”), Gabriel Ebert (“Ricki and the Flash”), Jessica Collins (“Rubicon”) and Corey Cott (“Public Morals”). Wolitzer’s novel, which the series is based on, was one of Amazon Best Books of 2013: Top 10 Literature & Fiction.
“The Interestings” stars Lauren Ambrose along with David Krumholtz (“Numb3rs”), Jessica Pare (“Mad Men”), Matt Barr (“Sleepy Hallow”), Gabriel Ebert (“Ricki and the Flash”), Jessica Collins (“Rubicon”) and Corey Cott (“Public Morals”).
The six children’s pilots are:
- “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters”: Live-action show from Sid and Marty Krofft, based on their classic Saturday morning series from the 1970s about two brothers who discover and befriend Sigmund, a friendly young sea monster. Executive produced by the Kroffts; the pilot is being directed by Jonathan Judge and stars David Arquette as sea-monster hunter Captain Barnabas.
- “Little Big Awesome”: Comedy combining 2D animation, puppetry, and live-action footage about the whimsically weird world of Ballopolis and its creatures. Created by Tomas Dieguez, written by Ben Gruber (“Spongebob Squarepants”), and animated by studio Titmouse.
- “Morris and the Cow”: Animated comedy about 10-year-old Morris’ passion to become a cowboy. Created and written by Andreas Trolf (“Sanjay and Craig”) and Luke Watson (“Memphis Beat”), with production and animation by Bento Box Entertainment (“Bob’s Burgers”).
- “Toasty Tales”: Animated comedy featuring Waffle, Burger and Pants – three best friends who happen to be marshmallows living in the long forgotten Move-Along National Park. Created by Thomas Borowski and Caroline Foley (“Rick and Morty,” “Robot Chicken”), written by Merriwether Williams (“Spongebob Squarepants,” “Adventure Time”), and animated by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (“Robot Chicken”).
- “The Curious Kitty and Friends”: Stop-motion animated show for preschoolers following the upbeat and colorful adventures of kitty cat Komaneko with her friends Mimmi Bear, Radibo and Yeti. Produced by Dwarf Studios and created by Tsuneo Goda, creator and director of Domo and other characters, films and series.
- “Jazz Duck”: Animated series that encourages preschoolers to listen and express themselves as they explore sounds and music, hosted by the part-duck/part-saxophone Jazz Duck. Created by Tom Jobbins and co-directed with Mark Perrett, animated by Nexus Productions.
Amazon Studios’ previous series include “Transparent,” starring Jeffrey Tambor, “Mozart in the Jungle” and alternate-history thriller “The Man in the High Castle,” based on Philip K. Dick’s novel.