6:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Amazon Adds Comedy Pilots From Jason Schwartzman, Michael Strahan, Jill Soloway
It's official: Amazon Studios is adding three comedy pilots to the mix.
The streaming service has ordered to pilot Mozart in the Jungle, The Outlaws and Transparent.
The pickups come as Amazon Studios is poised to launch its first original scripted comedies, Alpha House and Betas, in the fall. The three projects join a rapidly growing slate as the service continues to bulk up on originals to compete with fellow streaming companies Netflix and Hulu.
Mozart in the Jungle is written by Oscar-nominated writer-director Roman Coppola (Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited) and reteams him with actor-musician Jason Schwartzman, as well as Tony-nominated writer-director Alex Timbers (Peter and the Starcatcher). The half-hour comedy is based on Blair Tindall's memoir of the same name. It is all about sex, drugs and classical music and illustrates that what happens behind the curtains at the symphony can be just as captivating as what occurs on stage.
"Many shows are in a single world; Mozart in the Jungle is an unusual show in that there are two worlds fused together," Coppola said. "On one side is the high-level skill and sophistication that comes with classical music, and at the same time it’s a story that includes people rising up from the bottom, trying to make it in the big world. I love the sense of contrast, the high and the low, the refined and the more base -- I hope audiences will love it, too.”
Second, The Outlaws -- from writers Jeremy Garelick (The Break-Up) and Jon Weinbach (The Other Dream Team) -- focuses on the ins and outs of a pro football team from the perspective of both the players and the back office. Matt Alvarez and former NFL all-star-turned-Live With Kelly and Michael host Michael Strahan will also executive produce. The half-hour leaked earlier this year.
"It's been great transforming this story into a pilot with the help of Amazon," Garelick said. "We have found Amazon’s support for original and edgy content to be second to none; the opportunity to blend crushing comedy and hits is endless. We want to make Outlaws the show that everyone will love -- not just footballs fans."
Finally, Transparent hails from Jill Soloway (Six Feet Under, United States of Tara) and is described as a darkly comedic story about an L.A. family with serious boundary issues. The pilot, which leaked earlier this year, stars Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass.
"With my astonishingly talented cast and crew, we created an incredible pilot,” Soloway said. “I hope we’ll be making a full season very soon. I am so grateful to Amazon for their trust and for allowing this story to unfold onscreen in such a human, organic way. They have provided me with one of the most creative experiences of my career."
The comedy pickups join numerous children's offerings as well as The After, a drama from The X-Files creator Chris Carter.