Amazon’s latest pilot season has some serious star power

Customers will decide the fate of the SVOD's newest pilots, which feature the likes of David Arquette, Kelsey Grammar and Zoë Kravitz.
May 27, 2016

Amazon has announced the lineup for its new pilot season and it boasts some serious celebrities. Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, Lauren Ambrose, David Krumholtz, Jessica Pare, David Arquette, Thomas Lennon, Zoe Kravitz, Michael Peña and Erik Griffin are just some of the stars that will be on display as Amazon customers decide which new shows get to become the next Amazon Original Series.

The pilot season is a content development process unique to Amazon that has been running since 2014. The program allows viewers to review pilots in order to help choose what the SVOD will ultimately greenlight as a full series.

“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,” said Roy Price, Vice President, Digital Video and Amazon Studios in a statement.

The latest lineup of pilots includes two one-hour pilots that will debut on June 17 exclusively on Amazon Video in the U.S., U.K., Germany, Austria and Japan.

The Interestings, which stars Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under), David Krumholtz (Numb3rs), Jessica Pare (Mad Men), Matt Barr (Sleepy Hallow), Gabriel Ebert (Ricki and the Flash), Jessica Collins (Rubicon) and Corey Cott (Public Morals) is adapted from Meg Wolitzer’s critically acclaimed New York Times best-seller and is a co-production with TriStar Television.

It follows a group of artistic teenagers who meet at summer camp in 1974. As they transition into adulthood over the course of the next few decades, their friendships are tested by tragedy, success, failure and secrecy. BAFTA winner Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Four Weddings and a Funeral) directed the pilot, which was written by Lyn Greene and Richard Levine (Masters of Sex, Boss, Nip Tuck). Greene, Levine and Newell serve as executive producers along with Michael De Luca (The Social Network) and Lindsay Sloane (Covert Affairs).

The Last Tycoon, another co-production with TriStar Television, is an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel of the same name. It follows Hollywood’s golden boy, Monroe Stahr (Matt Bomer, White Collar) as he fights his father figure and boss, Pat Brady (Frasier’s Kelsey Grammer), for the soul of their studio amidst the passions, violence, and towering ambition of 1930’s Hollywood. Lily Collins (The Blind Side) also stars as Cecelia Brady.

The Last Tycoon is written and directed by Oscar nominee Billy Ray (Captain Phillips, The Hunger Games), and executive produced by Ray and Christopher Keyser (Tyrant, Party of Five), who serve as showrunners, Joshua D. Maurer (Rosemary’s Baby), Alixandre Witlin (Rosemary’s Baby), and David A. Stern (Rosemary’s Baby). Mad Men’s Scott Hornbacher serves as co-executive producer of the pilot, along with Perri Kipperman (Billions). Noted Pulitzer-winning Fitzgerald scholar A. Scott Berg is also onboard as consulting producer.

Other pilots coming to Amazon include the reboot of Sid and Marty Krofft’s Sigmund and the Sea Monsters starring David Arquette (Scream, Jake and the Neverland Pirates), and animated pilots The Curious Kitty and Friends, Jazz Duck, Morris and the Cow, which features the voice talent of Jermaine Fowler (College Humor, Robot Chicken), Riki Lindhome (The Muppets, Adventure Time), Thomas Lennon (Bob’s Burgers, Dawn of the Croods), Zoë Kravitz (Divergent, Mad Max), Michael Peña (Ant Man, The Martian), and Erik Griffin (Workaholics), Toasty Tales and Little Big Awesome.

Past winners of Amazon’s pilot seasons include such critically-acclaimed, award-winning shows as multi Golden Globe and Emmy-winning series Transparent, multi Golden Globe-winning series Mozart in the Jungle, and the most-streamed Amazon Original Series ever by Prime members globally, The Man in the High Castle.  Customer feedback from the pilot series program also helped make Amazon Original Kids Series Annedroids, Niko and the Sword of Light and Tumble Leaf that won a combined nine Daytime Emmy Awards.

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