6:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,' From 'Gilmore Girls' Creator, Gets Two-Season Pickup at Amazon
Amazon has handed out a two-season order to one of its pilots.
The retail giant/streaming service has given a two-season order to Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino's The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The hourlong pilot, one of five currently online for "viewer feedback," stars House of Cards alum Rachel Brosnahan as Miriam "Midge" Maisel, a 1958 New York City housewife who, through a series of events, winds up exploring the world of stand-up comedy.
"In her onstage debut, Mrs. Maisel killed and had audiences responding overwhelmingly with digital applause,” Amazon head of comedy and drama Joe Lewis said. “Like any great young stand-up, we’re excited to see what she has to say next and for a long time to come. That made it an easy decision to order two seasons from Amy and her incredible cast. We can’t wait to bring it to customers soon.”
The series is the first new venture for Sherman-Palladino following Netflix's Gilmore Girls revival. Alex Borstein and Tony Shalhoub co-star in the series from Amazon Studios. An episode count was not immediately available and a premiere date has not yet been determined. Multiple-season pickups have become increasingly rare in the Peak TV era as they are typically reserved for high-profile shows like Orange Is the New Black and The Big Bang Theory. Amazon is said to have handed out a two-season straight-to-series order for its David O. Russell package starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore and previously gave a multiple-season pickup to established comedy Catastrophe.
Amazon encourages viewers to vote on its pilot offerings and is said to consider that feedback when making decisions on which pilots the streamer picks up to series, though historically that has not always been the case. Amazon, in a press release, touted Mrs. Maisel as its first multiple-season pickup for a pilot. The company recently came under fire for handing out straight-to-series orders only to male producers (see projects from Woody Allen, Matthew Weiner, Nicolas Winding Refn and Russell — many of which did not yet have a script when they were ordered). In his reviews of the streamer's current pilot slate, THR TV critic Daniel Fienberg questioned what "reservations" Amazon could have had with Mrs. Maisel that kept the company from going straight to series with that show. He called Brosnahan's performance a "star turn" and noted the Manhattan alum is a "natural fit" for Sherman-Palladino's dialogue.
Mrs. Maisel comes as Netflix has left the door open for additional Gilmore Girls episodes from Sherman-Palladino, though the double Amazon order and the busy schedules for stars Lauren Graham (she's filming Fox comedy pilot Linda From HR) and Alexis Bledel (who stars in Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale) may now make that even less of a reality than it already was.
Thematically, Mrs. Maisel — written, directed and exec produced by Sherman-Palladino with her husband and producing partner, Daniel Palladino, and Dhana Gilbert also attached as EPs on the Amazon Studios entry — becomes the latest scripted series to explore the world of stand-up comedy. Showtime next has its Jim Carrey-produced I'm Dying Up Here dramedy and TV Land recently launched Melissa McCarthy-produced Nobodies, which has already been renewed for a second season.
Mrs. Maisel joins an Amazon slate of original scripted series including Transparent, Sneaky Pete, Castastrophe, Man in the High Castle and more. The fate of Amazon's remaining four pilots has not yet been determined.