The show is written by Cassidy, a former pop star whose TV production credits include “Invasion.” He serves as exec producer alongside Adam Schroeder, Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bryan Zuriff and director Otto Bathurst. “Hysteria” is produced by Amazon Studios, Universal Television and Alcon Television Group.
Other pilots Amazon Studios has in the works for its third bake-off later in 2014, which invite viewer feedback to help determine which to greenlight into full series, are: dramedy “The Cosmopolitans” from Whit Stillman; drama “Hand of God,” starring Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy”) and directed by Marc Forster (“World War Z”); and “Point of Honor,” a Civil War-era drama from ABC Studios written by Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Randall Wallace.
“Hysteria” follows a girls’ competitive dance team in Austin whose members are stricken with a psycho-physiological illness that manifests itself in violent fits and spasms — and appears to spread via social networks. Suvari (“American Beauty”) plays neurologist Dr. Logan Harlen, who returns to her hometown to investigate the case.
Pilot also stars James McDaniel (“Orange Is the New Black”), Josh Stewart (“The Dark Knight Rises”), Adan Canto (“X-Men: Days of Future Past”), Laura San Giacomo (“Saving Grace”) and T.R. Knight (“Grey’s Anatomy”). Cast includes Ella Rae Peck and Jenessa Grant, with guest stars Jason Douglas, Heather Kafka, Asjha Cooper and Evie Thompson.
Cassidy’s script “immediately hooked us,” Amazon Studios director Roy Price said. “Shaun is known for creating shows with layers of mystery, depth of character and topical themes.”
Added Cassidy, “I can think of no better platform than Amazon to tell a story that explores the price of fear and the very real threat of viral connection becoming contagion.”
Amazon Studios last fall launched its first two original series, comedies “Alpha House” (starring John Goodman) and “Betas.” The company this summer is bowing its first three kids’ originals — “Tumble Leaf,” “Creative Galaxy” and live-action “Annedroids” — and has ordered six more full series, including supernatural drama “The After” from Chris Carter (“The X-Files”) and cop show “Bosch.”
Amazon’s original series are available exclusively to the e-retailer’s Prime members through Prime Instant Video.