Amazon's New Pilot Season Includes Shows With Kelsey Grammer, Matt Bomer, Lauren Ambrose

Kelsey Grammer HFPA - P 2012
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Kelsey Grammer HFPA - P 2012

The offerings include dramas 'The Last Tycoon,' based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final work; 'The Interestings,' directed by Mike Newell; and six kids' shows starring the likes of David Arquette and the voice of Zoe Kravitz.

Amazon on Thursday unveiled a star-studded lineup for its next pilot season, which will again give users an opportunity to help choose the next Amazon original series to be made available to Prime members.

Among the big names starring are Kelsey Grammer, Matt Bomer, Lauren Ambrose, David Arquette and Zoe Kravitz, who is part of the voice cast of a kids' show pilot.

The new pilots include two one-hour dramas and six kids' shows, all scheduled to debut June 17 exclusively on Amazon Video in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Austria and Japan.

The Last Tycoon, a co-production with TriStar Television, is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's last work, starring Grammer and Bomer. It follows Hollywood's Golden Boy (Bomer) who battles father figure and boss (Grammer) for the soul of their studio. Lily Collins (The Blind Side) also stars. "In a world darkened by the Great Depression and the growing international influence of Hitler's Germany, The Last Tycoon illuminates the passions, violence and towering ambition of 1930s Hollywood," according to a show description.

The pilot was written and directed by Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games), who originally developed the show at HBO, and executive produced by Ray and Christopher Keyser (Tyrant) — who serve as showrunners — Joshua Maurer, Alixandre Witlin and David A. Stern (all Rosemary's Baby). Mad Men's Scott Hornbacher serves as co-executive producer of the pilot, along with Perri Kipperman (Billions). 

The Interestings is adapted from Meg Wolitzer's best-seller and is a co-production with TriStar Television. It follows a group of artistic teenagers who meet at summer camp in 1974. Their friendships are tested by tragedy, success, failure and secrecy. Ambrose (Six Feet Under) plays an aspiring actress who uses her wit to compensate for what she is lacking in the glamor, money and talent her other friends seem to have. The pilot also stars David Krumholtz (Numb3rs), Jessica Pare (Mad Men), Matt Barr (Sleepy Hollow), Gabriel Ebert (Ricki and the Flash), Jessica Collins (Rubicon) and Corey Cott (Public Morals).

BAFTA winner Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fires, Four Weddings and a Funeral) directed the pilot written by Lyn Greene and Richard Levine (Masters of Sex, Nip Tuck). In addition to them, Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Lindsay Sloane (Covert Affairs) serve as executive producers.

Amazon's new kids' show pilots includes one live-action project, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, featuring Arquette and based on the classic Saturday morning series from the 1970s. The show centers on two brothers, Johnny and Scotty, who discover and befriend Sigmund, a friendly sea monster and his dysfunctional brothers Slurp and Blurp.

The five animated pilots are The Curious Kitty and Friends; Jazz Duck; Morris and the Cow, whose voice cast includes Kravitz (Divergent, Mad Max), Michael Pena (Ant Man), Thomas Lennon (Bob's Burgers) and Erik Griffin (Workaholics); Toasty Tales; and Little Big Awesome.

"We're focused on bringing customers compelling, must-see TV and we accomplish this by going directly to them for input," said Roy Price, vp, digital video and Amazon Studios. "Our process has proven to work time and time again. Their feedback has helped create series that have become fan favorites among critics and customers."