Amazon Greenlights Full Seasons of "Mad Dogs," "The Man in the High Castle," "The New Yorker Presents," and Children's Shows "Just Add Magic" and "The Stinky & Dirty Show"
Amazon customers made The Man in the High Castle the most watched pilot ever
SEATTLE -- Feb. 18, 2015 -- (NASDAQ: AMZN) -- An intriguing tale about alternative history, a twisted story of friendship put to the ultimate test, a docu-series based on America's most award-winning magazine, a kids series based on magic and another about being stinky and dirty--all coming exclusively to Prime Instant Video. Amazon today announced it has greenlit five new Amazon Original Series, including The Man in the High Castle, which is based on the Philip K. Dick alternative history novel; an hour-long dark comedy Mad Dogs; docu-series The New Yorker Presents; along with kids shows Just Add Magic, and The Stinky & Dirty Show. The new Amazon Original Series come from an acclaimed creative roster including Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Cris Cole (The Good Times Are Killing Me), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie), Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas in Love, Awkward), and Kate & Jim McMullan (I'm Dirty!). These new shows will premiere exclusively to Prime members in the US, UK and Germany later this year and in 2016.
As part of its unique development process, Amazon gives customers an opportunity to provide feedback on which pilots they want turned into series that are then available to Prime members. During pilot season, any Amazon customer in the US, UK, and Germany can watch, rate and comment on the pilots. At the end of pilot season, that feedback helps determine the shows that become an Amazon Original Series. To date, customers have helped Amazon greenlight 13 series including the multi-Golden Globe-winning show Transparent, which will return for a second season later this year.
"During the latest pilot season, Amazon customers made The Man in the High Castle our most watched pilot ever," said Roy Price, Vice President of Amazon Studios. "These new series, including our first docu-series, are some of our most ambitious to date and I'm looking forward to their premieres in the future."
Amazon Original Series are available for Prime members to stream and enjoy through the Amazon Instant Video app for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, or online at Amazon.com/originals, at no additional cost to their membership. Customers who are not already a Prime member can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime.
Here's what customers are saying:
· "Wow! Love the pilot, and couldn't ask for a better cast of friends to get wrapped up in trouble with."
· "Definitely exceeded my expectations. The visuals were amazing! Can't wait to get to know the characters as the show progresses."
· "Hooked us in within the first five minutes."
· "As a big fan of Shawn Ryan's The Shield, I knew to trust this pilot blindly and just push play. I was rewarded."
The Man in the High Castle:
· "Beautifully done all around; the story, special effects, acting, and production were top notch. I couldn't stop watching. I am desperate to see the next installment."
· "Not only is this a beautiful and well done pilot, but it's super engaging and quite a great homage to the book."
· "I love alternative history and this was well done, well-paced, well-acted and very compelling."
· "The Man in the High Castle may very well be the single best thing I've ever seen or heard. It sits at first place on my list of best TV shows ever, and its audio track sits at second."
The New Yorker Presents:
· "With all of the ridiculousness and nonsense on TV today, this show makes me feel as if I'm being linked to a real part of the world."
· "Highly intelligent documentary shorts that are poignant and thought provoking. Looking forward to more!"
· "This is a moving series. Each section was thought-provoking and touched on complex issues that clearly need to be considered in the current world."
· "I don't write many reviews on programs but I was so compelled to do so. You must see this outstanding journalistic presentation. The New Yorker Presents is wonderful."
Just Add Magic:
· "I love that they show smart, compassionate girls and that the friendship among the girls is so strong."
· "I appreciate the values and morals that this show portrayed, and it was even realistic and sincere, not fake or cheesy. I would give it six stars if I could!"
· "My daughter and I just watched Just Add Magic. We loved it! My daughter loves to cook and this is a perfect show for her."
· "I have two girls. One is almost five and the other is six. They LOVED this show. I loved it because it shows intelligent, kind, thoughtful young girls who are not annoying, obsessed with makeup/clothes, or mean to their 'enemies' or families. We need more shows like this for our young girls."
The Stinky & Dirty Show:
· "Great show from top to bottom. The animation is some of the best I've seen on television."
· "If your kids are into trucks and construction equipment like mine are, this show will be a home run for them just as it was for mine."
· "My son loves it! It's a great show that shows kids how to work together."
· "Move over Dora the Explorer, Stinky and Dirty are on their way to being the next great kids' show."
The new Amazon Original Series include:
Comedy / Dramas:
Mad Dogs is an hour-long dark comedy drama created by Cris Cole (The Good Times Are Killing Me), and Executive Produced by Cole, Shawn Ryan (The Shield) and Marney Hochman (Last Resort), Andy Harries (Strikeback), Suzanne Mackie (Kinky Boots), and Charles McDougall (The Good Wife). Based on the hit UK series, Mad Dogs follows the reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends--a mixture of single, married and recently divorced, all seemingly at crossroads in their lives. Celebrating the early retirement of an old friend at his gorgeous Belizean villa, grudges begin to emerge and secrets explode as their trip becomes a labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception and murder. Mad Dogs is a twisted tale of friendship put to the ultimate test. As the chain of events unfolds, cracks within the group widen before the friends realize the only people they can trust are each other, the last people they should be relying on! The pilot starred Steve Zahn (Dallas Buyers Club) as Cobi, Billy Zane (Titanic) as Milo, Romany Malco (Weeds) as Gus, Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos) as Lex and Ben Chaplin (The Thin Red Line) as Joel. Mad Dogs was directed by McDougall and is being co-produced with Sony Pictures Television.
The Man in the High Castle
Based on Philip K. Dick's Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history, The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Almost 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities), The Man in the High Castle provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality. The hour-long dramatic pilot starred Alexa Davalos (Mob City) as Juliana Crain, Luke Kleintank (Pretty Little Liars) as Joe Blake, Rupert Evans (The Village) as Frank Frink, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat Legacy) as Tagomi, Joel De La Fuente (Hemlock Grove) as Inspector Kido, Rufus Sewell (Eleventh Hour) as John Smith and DJ Qualls (Z Nation) as Ed McCarthy. The pilot was directed by David Semel (Madam Secretary, Heroes) and written by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), both serving as Executive Producers. Also executive producing are Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and David W. Zucker (The Good Wife), with co-executive producer Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free Productions (The Good Wife, The Andromeda Strain), and Executive Producers Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute of Headline Pictures (The Invisible Woman). In addition, Isa Dick Hackett will executive produce and Kalen Egan will co-executive produce on behalf of Electric Shepherd (The Adjustment Bureau). Christopher Tricarico (May in the Summer) is also Executive Producer.
The New Yorker Presents
America's most award-winning magazine, which marks its 90th anniversary this year, comes to life in this half-hour docu-series pilot. The New Yorker Presents is a completely unique viewing experience. The pilot episode featured Tony-Award winner Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) and actor Brett Gelman (Go On) in a short film based on a story by Simon Rich (Saturday Night Live) and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Troy Miller (Arrested Development); a poem by Matthew Dickman; a documentary by Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) about biologist Tyrone Hayes based on a Rachel Aviv article; and an interview with famous performance artist, Marina Abramovic, conducted by The New Yorker writer Ariel Levy. Academy Award-winning documentarian Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) is Executive Producer, joined by Dave Snyder (Death Row Stories) and Dawn Ostroff (The Fashion Fund). The pilot was co-produced by Cond� Nast Entertainment and Jigsaw Productions. Future episodes will include new segments that come from noted filmmakers, star talent and New Yorker writers.
Just Add Magic (for children ages 6-11)
Based on Cindy Callaghan's young adult book of the same name and adapted by Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco (Sullivan & Son, Fairly Odd Parents), Just Add Magic is a single-camera live-action pilot directed by Joe Nussbaum (George Lucas in Love, Awkward). The story centers on Kelly Quinn and her two BFFs, Darbie and Hannah, who stumble upon her grandmother's mysterious cookbook in the attic and discover it has some interesting recipes. The Shut'em Up Shortcake actually silences Kelly's pesky little brother and when the Healing Hazelnut Tart quickly heals Darbie's ankle, the girls discover they have the power of magic. The project stars Olivia Sanabia (Extant), Abby Donnelly (Suburgatory), Aubrey Miller (Austin & Ally), and Judah Bellamy (Home).
The Stinky & Dirty Show (for preschool-aged children)
The Stinky & Dirty Show, based on the "I Stink!" book series by Kate & Jim McMullan, is written by Guy Toubes (The Adventures of Chuck & Friends, Littlest Pet Shop, Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi) and animated by Brown Bag Films, Ltd (Peter Rabbit, Octonauts, Doc McStuffins). The Stinky & Dirty Show follows the adventures and mishaps faced by best friends and unlikely heroes, Stinky the garbage truck and Dirty, the backhoe loader. Whether it's rescuing their pal Mighty the tugboat, or moving a giant boulder blocking the highway in their town of Go City, Stinky & Dirty are a dynamic duo of resourcefulness who make plenty of mistakes along the way. For them, hilariously failing turns out to be the most fun path to success.
About Amazon Studios
Mad Dogs, The Man in the High Castle, The New Yorker Presents, Just Add Magic, and The Stinky and Dirty Show join other Amazon Original Series that include Bosch, based on Michael Connelly's best-selling books, Mozart in the Jungle, from Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Paul Weitz, and Alex Timbers, Jill Soloway's multi-Golden Globe Award-winning dark comedy Transparent, along with the second season of the Garry Trudeau political comedy Alpha House. The studio has also launched its first live-action series for kids 6-11, Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, and three additional children's series, the Annecy International Animated Film Festival Award-winning and Annie Award-winning Tumble Leaf from Bix Pix Entertainment; Creative Galaxy from Angela C. Santomero and Out of the Blue Enterprises, the creators of Blue's Clues; and Annedroids, from Emmy nominated Sinking Ship Entertainment.
Amazon Studios has also announced three additional, original series to debut in 2015, including Hand of God from Marc Forster and Ben Watkins; Red Oaks from Steven Soderbergh, David Gordon Green, Greg Jacobs and Joe Gangemi; and kids series Wishenpoof! from Angela C. Santomero and Out of the Blue Enterprises; as well as a second season of Transparent.
In 2015 Amazon Studios will begin to produce and acquire original movies for theatrical release, followed by early window distribution on Prime Instant Video.
Amazon Studios launched in 2010 as a new way to develop feature films and episodic series--one that's open to great ideas from creators and audiences around the world. Anyone can upload a script online and Amazon Studios will read and review all submissions. Those who choose to make their projects public can also receive feedback from the Amazon Studios community.
About Prime Instant Video
Amazon Prime members have instant access to stream tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes, including award-winning Amazon Original Series, available on Prime Instant Video at no additional cost to their membership. In addition, new release movies like Gone Girl, Boyhood and Birdman along with in-season shows like The Walking Dead, Scandal and Better Call Saul are also available for rent or purchase on Amazon Instant Video for all customers to stream and enjoy.
Customers can watch shows and movies with the Amazon Instant Video app. The Amazon Instant Video app is available on hundreds of devices including connected TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Xbox and PlayStation, as well as on mobile devices like Fire phone, Fire tablets, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Customers can also watch online at Amazon.com/PIV. Prime Instant Video is also the only U.S. online-only subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing--on a plane, on vacation, and anywhere else where you may not have Wi-Fi.
Amazon Prime members have exclusive access to popular TV series at no additional cost to their membership. Prime members can enjoy binge-worthy TV shows including Amazon Original Series airing now such as multi-Golden Globe winning series, Transparent, the hour-long drama, Bosch, based on Michael Connelly's best-selling books, the Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman comedy, Mozart in the Jungle, and the political comedy starring John Goodman, Alpha House, in addition to HBO favorites like The Sopranos, True Blood and Six Feet Under, and popular primetime series including 24, Covert Affairs, Downton Abbey, Extant, Falling Skies, Grimm, Hannibal, Justified, Orphan Black, Teen Wolf, The Americans, Under the Dome and Veronica Mars. Prime members also have access to an exclusive collection of kids shows now airing including Amazon Original Series' Annedroids, Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street and Tumble Leaf, as well as popular shows from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Blue's Clues and The Bubble Guppies.
Comprehensive cast and crew information, including bios and filmographies, is available on Amazon's IMDb (www.imdb.com), the world's most popular and authoritative source for movie, TV and celebrity content.
Amazon.com opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995. The company is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire phone, Fire tablets, and Fire TV are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.