Amazon Comedy Pilot Season Kicks Off with Jill Soloway, Jean-Claude Van Damme Projects

On Aug. 19, Amazon subscribers also will get to watch and review a superhero tale from Barry Sonnenfeld.
Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images
Jill Soloway

Amazon will kick off its 2016 comedy pilot season on Aug. 19.

On that late summer day, the streaming service will roll out a trio of half-hour projects: I Love Dick from Transparent's Jill Soloway, Jean-Claude Van Johnson starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and offbeat superhero tale The Tick from Barry Sonnenfeld and Barry Josephson. Per the company's model, the pilots will be available in each of Amazon's global territories, including the U.K., Germany, Austria and Japan, and subject to customer reviews.

"Nowhere else will voices as influential as Jill Soloway and Jean-Claude Van Damme share a stage," Amazon Studios' head of half-hour series Joe Lewis noted Thursday in a statement announcing the season's start date. "And that's just the Js. We're excited to bring such a diverse slate of pilots to customers and we can't wait to hear what they think."

Soloway's I Love Dick, set in Marfa, Texas, is adapted from the cult book of the same name. The potential series will center on Chris (played by Transparent's Kathryn Hahn) and Sylvere (Griffin Dunne), who arrive in Marfa when Sylvere is offered a fellowship to finish a book he's been writing on the Holocaust. There they meet Dick (Kevin Bacon), who taunts their imaginations and upends their preconceptions about love and monogamy. 

Jean-Claude Van Johnson stars Van Damme as a global martial arts and film sensation who is operating under the alias Johnson, the most dangerous undercover private contractor in the world. Though he's been retired for years, a chance encounter with a lost love brings him back to the game. The cast is filled out by Kat Foster, Moises Arias and Phylicia Rashad, with Peter Atencio directing and Dave Callaham penning the pilot. Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker are both attached as executive producers alongside Van Damme.

Finally, The Tick is being bill as a dark and offbeat superhero tale based on the comic of the same name. The project stars Peter Serafinowicz, Griffin Newman and Jackie Earle Haley, among others. Josephson and Sonnenfeld are among the exec producers, with Wally Pfister attached to direct the Sony TV co-production. Ben Edlund (Supernatural) wrote the pilot. 

If ultimately ordered to series, these entries will join a slate that includes Transparent, The Man in a High Castle and Mozart in the Jungle. 

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