Amazon to premiere first docu-series pilot

Conde Nast Entertainment is co-producing The New Yorker Presents, a unique series among Amazon Studios' 7 new pilots announced Tuesday.
November 11, 2014

Amazon Studios announced 7 new pilots on Tuesday including its first docu-series co-produced by Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE).

Among the new projects scheduled to debut early in the new year on Amazon Prime Instant Video in the U.S., U.K. and Germany is The New Yorker Presents, a series that brings to life the stories in one of the world’s most renowned magazines.

Co-produced by CNE and Jigsaw Productions, The New Yorker Presents pilot will feature several segments, including a documentary by Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) about biologist Tyrone Hayes, based on a Rachel Aviv profile that ran this past February; an interview with performance artist Marina Abramović, conducted by The New Yorker writer Ariel Levy; and a short film based on a story by Simon Rich and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Troy Miller (Arrested Development). Documentarian Alex Gibney, who won an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, is executive producer on The New Yorker Presents pilot, along with Dave Snyder (Death Row Stories) and Dawn Ostroff.

Here’s a list of the rest of the pilots for Amazon Studios, which includes one-hour dramas and half-hour comedies.

  • Cocked – an hour-long dramedy created by Samuel Baum (Lie to Me) and Sam Shaw (Manhattan TV series) about a family man and corporate lap dog who left his rural Virginia home 20 years earlier, but has to return to help his family’s gun business, much to the chagrin of his wife and teenaged kids. The lead is played by True Blood‘s Sam Trammell and also stars Brian Dennehy (The Good Wife) and Laura Fraser, who played a drug dealer on Breaking Bad. The pilot is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Skull Island) and Erwin Stoff (Unbroken), while Shaw and Baum are exec producing.
  • Down Dog – about a good-looking Southern California man in his late 30’s who teaches yoga in Santa Monica and Venice Beach. His charmed life gets more complicated after breaking up with his girlfriend. The half-hour comedy pilot is written by Robin Schiff (Are You There, Chelsea?), produced by Bob Cooper (RFK) and Michael Fuchs (Death in the Modern Age), and directed by Bradley Silberling (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events).
  • Mad Dogs – an hour-long dark comedy about a twisted reunion between a group of friends in their 40’s that ends in murder. Based on a U.K. series of the same name. The pilot is created by Cris Cole (The Bill) and executive produced by Cole, Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Marney Hochman (Last Resort), Andy Harries (DCI Banks), Suzanne Mackie (All in Good Time) and Charles McDougall (The Mindy Project). Mad Dogs is directed by McDougall and is being co-produced with Sony Pictures Television.
  • The Man in the High Castle – based on Philip K. Dick’s 1962 alternative history novel, The Man in the High Castle is an hour-long drama about what would have happened if the Allied powers had lost the Second World War. The pilot is directed by David Semel (Madam Secretary) and written by Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), both serving as executive producers. As is typical of its pilots and series, Amazon provides a long list of well-known co-exec producers involved in the project, including Ridley Scott, Jordan Sheehan of Scott Free Productions (The Good Wife) and Stewart Mackinnon and Christian Baute of Headline Pictures (The Invisible Woman).
  • Point of Honor – a Civil War drama about a white Virginia family who frees slaves working on their plantation but decides to fight for the South, against their northern brethren. The hour-long pilot is entirely on-location in historic Virginia and is co-produced by ABC Signature Studios. It’s directed by Randall Wallace (Braveheart), written by Wallace and Carlton Cuse of Lost, and executive produced by Cuse, Wallace and Barry Jossen (Sex and the City).
  • Salem Rogers – a half-hour comedy starring Leslie Bibb (About a Boy) who plays the title character — a hard-partying former supermodel who is forced to face her past and re-enter the real world after 10 years in a posh rehab center. Intent on recreating her glamorous lifestyle and modeling success, she tracks down Agatha (played by Rachel Dratch, Saturday Night Live), her former assistant who has since built a career as an author of self-help books, to help her win back the spotlight. The pilot is written by newcomer Lindsey Stoddart, executive produced by Will Graham (The Onion News Network) and directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls). Salem Rogers was submitted as part of the studio’s online screenplay submission process.
About The Author
Melita Kuburas is the editor of StreamDaily. You can reach her directly at press[at] or on Twitter @melitakuburas

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