“We’re excited about, and committed to, telling diverse and risky stories from the best storytellers in the world,” said Joe Lewis, head of Comedy, Drama and VR for Amazon Studios. “We can’t wait for customers to see these incredible new universes from Diarra, Bridget, Michael and George.”
The launch of the fall comedy slate comes amid turmoil behind the scenes at Amazon Studios. Longtime president Roy Price resigned under pressure earlier this month amid allegations that he sexually harassed Isa Hackett, a producer on the Amazon drama series “Man in the High Castle.” It is no secret that Price’s top lieutenants, including Lewis, are also under scrutiny amid the shakeup.
Amazon’s latest comedy slate reflects the streaming service’s effort to expand its roster of creative partners. “The Climb” hails from Mark Gordon Co. The auteur effort from creator and star Diarra Kilpatrick revolves around a woman in Detroit who seeks “an extraordinary life through Internet fame.”
“Love You More” is produced by Warner Bros. Television and King. The pilot is toplined by Bridget Everett, a vivacious woman who works as a counselor at an independent living residence for young people with Down syndrome.
“Sea Oak” is a black comedy starring Close as a Rust Belt woman who comes back from the dead after she’s killed in a home invasion. “Atlanta’s” Hiro Murai directed the pilot and exec produces with creator George Saunders, Jonathan Krauss and Evan Dunsky.
Amazon will make its final series greenlight decisions in part based on viewer reaction to the pilots.
Here’s a rundown of three projects:
From creator and star Diarra Kilpatrick (American Koko, The Last O.G.) and The Mark Gordon Company comes a comedy about the new American Dream set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Detroit. The Climb follows an office assistant who seeks an extraordinary life through internet fame, with her best friend always in tow. Chris Robinson (The New Edition Story, Star) directed the pilot, which shot on location in Detroit. Christina Lee (Search Party, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp) served as showrunner on the pilot episode. The Mark Gordon Company (Designated Survivor, Ray Donovan) is producing and serving as the studio on the project along with Amazon Studios.
Love You More
Love You More stars New York City cabaret sensation Bridget Everett (Patti Cake$) as Karen Best, withBobcat Goldthwait (God Bless America) directing and Michael Patrick King (Sex and the City, The Comeback,2 Broke Girls) showrunning. Karen Best is a big girl with a big personality and a big love of Chardonnay, which occasionally, causes her to make some big mistakes with men. But the biggest thing about Karen is her big heart, which she uses to excel at her job as a counselor at an independent living residence for young adults with Down syndrome. And sometimes, Karen’s need to stand up for all the little people in life manifests into a fantasy rock music number, where we discover she also has a big and beautiful voice. Love You More is from MPK Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and Amazon Studios. King, Goldthwait, Strauss and Everett co-wrote the pilot. King and Goldthwait serve as executive producers, and Everett is co-executive producer.
Sea Oak is a genre-bending comedy from renowned author and creator George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo), starring Emmy-winner Glenn Close (Damages, The Wife), directed by Golden Globe-winner Hiro Murai (Atlanta) and executive produced by Jonathan Krauss through his Affiliated Pictures banner. Murai will also serve as an executive producer as well as Evan Dunsky (Nurse Jackie). Lael Smith and Keir McFarlane serve as co-executive producers. Aunt Bernie, a working-class woman in a Rust Belt city (meek, unmarried, no kids) dies tragically in a home invasion. Compelled by sheer force of dissatisfaction, she comes back from the dead full of rage, determined to get the life she never had. She proceeds to inflict a range of demands on what’s left of her nuclear family (a quasi-stripper nephew and two feckless nieces), who live in a low-end subsidized hellhole of a housing complex called Sea Oak. Sea Oak is from Amazon Studios.
(Pictured: Glenn Close)