The apocalypse, a behind-the-curtains look at classical music, a no-nonsense Los Angeles police detective standing trial, a family full of secrets, a girl with magic wishes and a boy named Gortimer-these are the intriguing plotlines of the six brand-new original series coming exclusively to Prime Instant Video. Amazon Studios today announced that The After, Bosch, Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street, Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent and Wishenpoof! will become the next Amazon Original Series following rave customer reviews of the pilot episodes.
Here's what Amazon Studios director Roy Price had to say about the new Amazon shows.
"We had a tremendous response to Amazon Studios' latest pilots-in fact, double the number of customers watched these pilots compared to our first season and they posted thousands of heartfelt reviews with pleas for us to continue these shows. Now the fun really begins-Amazon will be working with some of the most talented casts and creators in the business to bring six new shows exclusively to tens of millions of Prime members worldwide. These series, along with our summer kids programming, will give customers a lot of viewing choices."
Among the new Amazon Originals are two hour-long dramas. The After - from Chris Carter, the legendary creator of The X-Files - follows eight strangers who are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation. Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jamie Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar and Louise Monot will be returning to star in their roles.
Michael Connelly's best-selling book series about a relentless LAPD homicide detective will also come to life in the Amazon Original series Bosch. Connelly and Eric Overmyer will co-write the series which features Titus Welliver, Annie Wersching and Jamie Hector. Henrik Bastin and Fabrik Entertainment (The Killing) are producing.
Amazon will also add Mozart in the Jungle, a half hour comedic drama about sex, drugs and classical music, that shows what happens behind the curtains can be just as captivating as what happens on stage. Returning cast includes Gael García Bernal, Saffron Burrows, Lola Kirke, Malcolm McDowell, Bernadette Peters and Peter Vack. The series will be written by Oscar-nominee Roman Coppola, actor and musician Jason Schwartzman, Tony-nominated writer and director Alex Timbers, and Oscar-nominee Paul Weitz.
Transparent, a dramedy about a Los Angeles family with serious boundary issues, rounds out Amazon's upcoming prime time lineup. From Emmy nominee Jill Soloway and starring returning cast Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass, Transparent is an exploration of sex, gender and family that begins when a dramatic admission causes everyone's secrets to spill out. The pilot received wide critical acclaim, was hailed as "the best pilot I've seen in years," and named to numerous must see lists.
In addition to its original prime time series, Amazon is developing children's programming for preschoolers and for kids ages 6-11 that will not only entertain, but will also educate, inspire creativity and teach valuable lessons. Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street is a live action series for ages 6-11 and will be joined by Wishenpoof!, for preschoolers.
Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street is a live-action adventure show created by David Anaxagoras, a pre-school teacher and first-time writer who was discovered through Amazon Studios' open-door submission process. The series is a coming-of-age tale that centers around Gortimer, his two best friends Ranger and Mel, and their exploits on Normal Street-an ordinary suburban neighborhood that has a hint of something magical just beneath the surface.
Written by Angela Santomero, creator of Blue's Clues, Creative Galaxy, and the Emmy-nominated literacy series, Super Why!, Wishenpoof! is an animated series that revolves around Bianca, who has "wish magic," which means if she wishes to play under the sea then-Wishenpoof!-she's a mermaid, swimming around with the sea horses. Bianca uses her wish magic to help others and learns to solve life's problems in her own creative way because with magic, or without, we all have the power to make good choices. This is Santomero's second Amazon Studios series.
This summer, Amazon will premiere its first three kids series Creative Galaxy, Tumble Leaf and Annedroids exclusively on Prime Instant Video. Each show will focus on important skills for children-science, arts and critical thinking-and will foster creativity by promoting learning through play.
Amazon Original preschool programming is developed with the aid of a board of advisors led by Dr. Alice Wilder, one of the world's foremost experts in educational and child psychology. Dr. Wilder earned universal acclaim for her work as the producer and director of research and development for the hit series Blue's Clues and Blue's Room. During her nearly decade-long involvement with Blue's Clues, Dr. Wilder helped pioneer a new level of interaction between a show and its young viewers. She brings her expertise to Amazon's programming to give parents confidence these programs will provide valuable life lessons while being entertaining at the same time to maintain their child's interest.
Creators of each series commented on today's announcement:
The After - Chris Carter:
"The great news is we get the chance to continue working with such a talented group of people. Amazon has been incredibly supportive in their approach to telling original stories and making great television. This is an exciting time to be a storyteller."
Bosch - Michael Connelly:
"I'm excited beyond words. This has been such a long time coming. But by waiting I think the right people and partnerships came together at the right time: Amazon and its creative team; ditto Fabrik Entertainment, Henrik Bastin, Eric Overmyer and of course, Titus Welliver. We're now off to make something really good."
Gortimer Gibbon's Life on Normal Street - David Anaxagoras:
"I couldn't be more proud of our show and our creative team. Gortimer has struck a deep chord with viewers who have told us how much they enjoy seeing imaginative, heartfelt, quality stories that the entire family can share together. Something as unique and magical as Gortimer could only have been realized at Amazon Studios, and their nurturing and support ensured that Gortimer reached audiences with uncompromising quality and integrity. I'm overjoyed at the prospect of returning to Normal Street and continuing our magical adventures with my Amazon family. A year and a half ago, I thought I was reaching the end of my attempted screenwriting career. I'm so pleased that it turned out to be just the beginning."
Mozart in the Jungle - Roman Coppola:
"We are delighted that Amazon chose to pick up Mozart in the Jungle. They've been such a great partner in the creation of the pilot and we know that we'll have their tremendous support to make a full season's worth of episodes. We are especially pleased to have such a fantastic cast, knowing that the things that we write and will be brought to such vivid life by this cast of players. Can't wait to dig in and do all we can to make a captivating, interesting, and fun show."
Transparent - Jill Soloway:
"It's honestly a dream come true to make nine more episodes of Transparent. I feel so lucky to be working in this moment when innovation in distribution allows for the most free flow of creativity I've ever experienced professionally. These characters are bursting in my mind waiting for the palette of the set and the flesh and blood and voices and comedy of the actors. More to come...."
Wishenpoof! - Angela Santomero
"I am thrilled to be working with Amazon, as I have been a huge 'Amazon mom' and Prime customer since the very beginning. I always say Amazon is like 'the perfect boyfriend'-loyal, delivering what and when they say they will (who can beat 2-day shipping?!), and I never have to look elsewhere, knowing with Amazon's great taste, I'm guaranteed the best quality and prices. I am excited to contribute our brand of quality educational children's media to other moms like me!"
Amazon will be shooting The After, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent in 4K Ultra HD. 4K is the latest and most advanced in high definition video, utilizing displays with an aspect ratio of at least 16:9 and capable of showcasing video at a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels or 8.3 million pixels-that's four times the number of pixels as standard full HD.