×

Amazon Sets 6 Fall Pilots, Including Comedies from Louis C.K., Sacha Baron Cohen

Amazon Studios this fall will debut six pilots — including comedies from Louis C.K. and Sacha Baron Cohen — from which it will select shows to greenlight as full series.

The new half-hour pilots premiering later this year are: “Highston” from Bob Nelson (Nebraska), directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) and executive producer Sacha Baron Cohen (The Dictator); “One Mississippi” from exec producers Louis C.K. (“Louie”), Tig Notaro (“Boyish Girl Interrupted”), Diablo Cody (“Juno”) and exec producer/director Nicole Holofcener (“Enough Said”); and “Z” from Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin (“The Killing”), produced by Pam Koffler and Christine Vachon (“Still Alice”) and directed by Tim Blake Nelson (“Anesthesia”).

Amazon’s three hour-long drama pilots will include “Edge” from Shane Black (“Lethal Weapon,” “Iron Man 3”) and Fred Dekker (“Tales from the Crypt,” “Star Trek: Enterprise”); “Good Girls Revolt,” written by Dana Calvo (“Made in Jersey”); and “Patriot” (working title) from Steven Conrad (“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “The Weather Man”).

Actors starring in the pilots include Christina Ricci in “Z” as Zelda Fitzgerald (pictured above), Anna Camp (whose credits include “Pitch Perfect”), Flea (“The Big Lebowski”), Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood”), Shaquille O’Neal (“Blended”), Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”), Chris Parnell (“Saturday Night Live”), Mary Lynn Rajskub (“24”) and David Strathairn (“Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”).

The shows will be free for anyone to watch on Amazon Video in the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Austria. Amazon execs will incorporate ratings and comments from users in deciding which ones to turn into full series, available only to Prime subscribers.

“We have something for everyone in this season and I am excited to see which shows spark conversation amongst our customers and what they want to be made into series,” said Roy Price, VP of Amazon Studios.

Amazon’s “Transparent” won five Primetime Emmy awards this past Sunday, including Jeffrey Tambor for lead actor in a comedy and series creator Jill Soloway for directing.

Here’s a rundown of the six new pilots:

  • “Highston”: Highston Liggetts (newcomer Lewis Pullman) is a 19-year-old with a wide circle of celebrity friends — whom only he can see. His parents, Jean (Mary Lynn Rajskub, “24”), and Wilbur (Chris Parnell, “SNL”) force him to get psychiatric help but his Uncle Billy (Curtis Armstrong, “American Dad!”) thinks he’s just fine. Pilot guest-stars Shaquille O’Neal (“Thunderstruck”) and Flea and is written by Oscar nominee Bob Nelson (“Nebraska”), directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (“Little Miss Sunshine”), and exec produced by Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Dictator”), Todd Hoffman (“Love Stinks”), Nelson and Todd Schulman (Bruno).
  • One Mississippi”: Dark comedy starring comedian Tig Notaro — in a story loosely based on her life — follows her as she deals with the complex reentry into her childhood hometown of Bay Saint Lucille, Miss., to deal with the unexpected death of her mother. Cast includes Noah Harpster (“Transparent”), John Rothman (“The Devil Wears Prada”) and Casey Wilson (“Gone Girl”) as Tig’s girlfriend, Brooke. Co-production with FX Prods. is written and executive produced by Notaro and Diablo Cody (“Juno”), executive produced by Louis C.K., Blair Breard (“Louie”) and Dave Becky (“Everybody Hates Chris”), with pilot directed and exec produced by Nicole Holofcener (“Enough Said”).
  • “Z”: Based on the life of Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, played by Christina Ricci (“Monster”). The story starts before the brilliant, beautiful and talented Southern Belle meets then-unpublished writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gavin Stenhouse, “Allegiance”) and moves through their turbulent love affair and their marriage. “Z” is written by Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin (“The Killing”), directed by Tim Blake Nelson (“Anesthesia”), and executive produced by Ricci, Pamela Koffler (“Still Alice”) and Christine Vachon (“One Hour Photo”) of Killer Films. Show guest stars David Strathairn, Kristine Nielsen (“Savages”), Maya Kazan (“The Knick”), Sarah Schenkkan (“30 Rock”), Jamie Anne Allman (“The Killing”) and Holly Curran (“Alpha House”).
  • Edge”: Drama based on George G. Gilman’s best-selling book series of the same name, which has been described as “the most violent Western in print,” is set in 1868 where Max Martini (“Pacific Rim,” “Captain Phillips”) plays a Union officer turned cowboy who prowls the post-Civil War West doling out his own savage brand of justice. Also stars Ryan Kwanten (“True Blood”) and Yvonne Strahovski (“The Astronaut Wives Club,” “Chuck”). Developed and scripted by Shane Black and Fred Dekker (“Tales from the Crypt,” “Star Trek: Enterprise”), “Edge” is directed by Black and exec produced by Black, Dekker, Barry Josephson (“Bones,” “Turn: Washington Spies”) and David Greenblatt (“Battle Los Angeles”).
  • Good Girls Revolt”: Drama set in 1969 follows a group of young female researchers at “News of the Week,” who simply ask to be treated fairly, based on Lynn Povich’s book “The Good Girls Revolt” chronicling sexual-discrimination cases of the era. Stars Genevieve Angelson (“Backstrom”), Anna Camp (“Pitch Perfect”), Erin Darke (“We Need to Talk About Kevin”), Chris Diamantopoulos (“Silicon Valley”), Hunter Parrish (“Weeds”), Jim Belushi (“Show Me a Hero”), Joy Bryant (“Parenthood”) and Grace Gummer as journalist Nora Ephron. The pilot, a co-production with TriStar Television, is written and created by Dana Calvo (“Made in Jersey”), directed by Liza Johnson (“Return”), and exec produced by Calvo, Lynda Obst (“Interstellar”), Darlene Hunt (“The Big C”), Don Kurt (“Justified”) and Jeff Okin (“Dark Skies”).
  • Patriot”: Political thriller follows the complicated life of intelligence officer John Tavner (Australian newcomer Michael Dorman, “Wonderland”), whose latest assignment is to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Pilot also stars Terry O’Quinn (“Lost”), Michael Chernus (“Manhattan Project”), Kathleen Munroe (“Call Me Fitz”), Aliette Opheim (“Sandor slash Ida”) and Kurtwood Smith (“That ’70s Show”). Written and directed by Steven Conrad and executive produced by Conrad, Gil Bellows (“Temple Grandin”), Glen Ficarra (“Crazy Stupid Love,” “Focus”), Charlie Gogolak (“Focus”) and John Requa (“Crazy Stupid Love,” “Focus”).

 

More Digital

  • FaceApp is displayed on an iPhone,

    SAG-AFTRA Warns Members About FaceApp Terms of Use

    SAG-AFTRA is warning its 160,000 members about the “overreaching and invasive” terms of use for the FaceApp mobile application. FaceApp, developed by Russian company Wireless Lab, uses neural network technology to automatically generate transformations of faces in photographs. The app can be used to make users appear older, younger, or change gender. The terms include [...]

  • J. Cole

    Apple Music Launches 'Rap Life' Playlist

    Apple Music announced the launch of “Rap Life,” a new global playlist focusing on contemporary rap artists and culture. It replaces the former “The A-List: Hip-Hop” playlist. Said Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: “We flipped it to dig deeper into into the lifestyle [and to] keep pushing the culture [...]

  • Billie Eilish

    ARRI, Mobile TV Group Back New Venture Revitalizing Streamed Concerts

    A new venture looking to bring a fresh approach to live-streaming concerts has gotten the backing of hardware heavyweights ARRI and Mobile TV Group. Wide+Close is launching with the mandate of shooting music performances with film cameras and cinematographers in order to give the content a more cinematic feel. “We want to take concert filming [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    How 'Fortnite' Fans Can Earn Loot by Watching YouTube Videos

    Epic Games and YouTube have teamed up with a special offer for “Fortnite” players — giving players of the popular battle-royale game rewards when they watch “Fortnite”-premiered content on the video platform. The catch: You have to watch at least 20 minutes of “Fortnite” special content or live esports broadcasts to receive the loot. Under [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Plans to Expand to Brazil, Other Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Roku plans to expand to multiple new territories in the coming months, Variety has learned. One of the first new markets for the company will likely be Brazil. An international expansion could help Roku grow its customer base, which in turn should lead to growing advertising revenues. Roku executives have been hinting at plans to [...]

  • Google Stadia Pro to Include 1

    Google’s Stadia Game Streaming Service to Include Free Monthly Game

    Google has been busy sharing additional details about its upcoming game streaming service Stadia, clearing up some confusion in the process. Stadia’s pro subscription tier, which will cost $10 per month, won’t be a Netflix-type subscription service. However, subscribers will get free games at the rate of about a title per month. That’s according to [...]

  • Crypt-TV-Facebook

    Facebook Signs Deal With Crypt TV for Slate of Five Horror Series

    Crypt TV, the digital studio founded by Eli Roth and Jack Davis and backed by Jason Blum, expanded its deal with Facebook, inking a content partnership to create a slate of five horror and monster-themed series exclusively for Facebook Watch. For Facebook Watch, it’s one of the first deals for a full slate of content [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content