Amazon Orders 5 New Series Including 'Man in the High Castle'

Ridley Scott
Rankin

The streaming service has also renewed 'Mozart in the Jungle' for a second season.

Amazon has greenlighted five new original series, after letting its Prime members view and vote on pilots for those shows, the streaming service announced Wednesday.

The pilots that received full-season commitments are Shawn Ryan's Mad Dogs, Ridley Scott's The Man in the High Castle, Alex Gibney's docuseries The New Yorker Presents, and kids' shows Just Add Magic and The Stinky & Dirty Show. Full seasons of those shows will premiere on Amazon's Prime Instant Video later this year and in 2016.

Amazon also announced that it has renewed its hit dramatic comedy Mozart in the Jungle for a second season that will premiere early next year.

Pilots of Mad Dogs, The Man in the High Castle, The New Yorker Presents, Just Add Magic and The Stinky & Dirty Show were all made available to Amazon Prime members last month as part of Amazon Studios' first 2015 pilot season. Viewers could then rate and comment on the pilots, with Amazon using that feedback to determine which shows would become original series.

The New Yorker docuseries, produced by the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker and Conde Nast Entertainment, features scripted narrative and documentary segments based on the magazine's pieces. The Ridley Scott-executive-produced drama, Man in the High Castle, based on the 1962 Philip K. Dick book about what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II, was written by X-Files showrunner Frank Spotnitz, who also serves as an executive producer.

The Shield's Shawn Ryan executive produces the comedy Mad Dogs, starring Steve Zahn, Billy Zane, Michael Imperioli and Romany Malco. The live-action Just Add Magic is based on the young adult book of the same name by Cindy Callaghan, which was adapted by Joanna Lewis and Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son, Fairly Odd Parents and My Little Pony) and directed by Awkward's Joe Nussbaum.

The Man in the High Castle was Amazon's most watched pilot ever, said Amazon Studios vp Roy Price.

"These new series, including our first docuseries, are some of our most ambitious to date and I’m looking forward to their premieres in the future," Price added in a statement.

Other pilots included in Amazon's first 2015 season were Carlton Cuse's Civil War drama Point of Honor; Cocked, created by Lie to Me's Sam Baum and starring True Blood's Sam Trammell, Jason Lee, Brian Dennehy and Dreama Walker; Down Dog, written by Are You There, Chelsea? writer Robin Schiff and featuring Kris Kristofferson, Nikita alum Lyndsy Fonseca, Paget Brewster and Orange Is the New Black's Alysia Reiner; and the Leslie Bibb starrer Salem Rogers, directed by Mean Girls helmer Mark Waters and written by newcomer Lindsey Stoddart. Salem Rogers also stars Rachel Dratch, Jane Kaczmarek, Harry Hamlin and Scott Adsit.

Additional kids' pilots presented to Amazon Prime members last month included Buddy: Tech Detective (created in part by Fraggle Rock, The Magic School Bus and Angelina Ballerina writer Jocelyn Stevenson); Sara Solves It, an animated musical from Curious George and Arthur executive producer Carol Greenwald and Blue's Clues and Wishenpoof! writer Angela C. Santomero with animation production handled by DHX (Inspector Gadget); Nikeo and the Sword of Light, based on the motion graphic comic by Imaginism Studios, which worked on character and concept designs for Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and Men in Black 3; and Table 58, directed by Greek and 10 Things I Hate About You helmer Gil Junger and written by Phineas & Ferb's May Chan.

As for Mozart, Price said, "The first season of Mozart in the Jungle was a big hit with our customers and I’m thrilled that we’re able to produce a second season. [Executive producers] Roman [Coppola], Jason [Schwartzman] and Paul [Weitz] brought viewers into this rarely seen world of the symphony. I know fans of the series will be in for a treat when the second season premieres early next year.”

The series is based on Blair Tindall's memoir of the same name about the creative, dedicated members of the New York Symphony as well as the mind games and politicking they engage in to survive.
 
“Jason, Paul and I are delighted to work on a second season of Mozart in the Jungle,” Coppola added in a statement. “There are so many interesting stories we want to tell and we’re looking forward to shooting another season with our wonderful cast and team of collaborators. We’re grateful to all the folks at Amazon who believe in this project and support us to portray the world of our symphony in what we hope will be an interesting, fun and imaginative season of television. We can't wait for the curtain to rise on season two.”

Star Gael Garcia Bernal will return for the second season along with Saffron Burrows, Gone Girl's Lola Kirke and Malcolm McDowell.

Amazon's first pilot slate, introduced in April 2013, resulted in two comedy pickups: Alpha House, which returned for a second season in October, and Betas, which was not renewed past its first season. The second pilot slate led to Jill Soloway's critically acclaimed, award-winning Transparent and Mozart in the Jungle. Amazon debuted its third bunch of pilots in August, ultimately picking up coming-of-age comedy Red Oaks from executive producer Steven Soderbergh and thriller Hand of God starring Ron Perlman.

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