New Amazon Pilots

(Pictured above: ‘Oasis’ pilot star Richard Madden)

Amazon’s Spring 2017 pilot season will debut Friday, March 17.

Amazon Prime subscribers will have the chance to view – and rate — pilots for five potential new series:

The Legend of Master Legend – A half-hour “dark comedy about the life of Frank Lafount,” the eponymous Master Legend, “a homemade superhero whose mission is to protect the people of Las Vegas from evil doers.” John Hawkes (pictured here), known for HBO’s Deadwood and the film Winter’s Bone, stars as Frank. The cast also includes Major Crimes’ Dawnn Lewis as Tana, Boardwalk Empire’s Shea Whigham as Peanut Head, and Anjelika Washington as Cody.

Budding Prospects – This half-hour comedy is set in 1983, when “three hapless city boys” head to Mendocino to grow marijuana. Dreams of a back-to-nature experience are shattered when they arrive at “The Summer Camp” – a miserably run-down shanty out in the middle of nowhere, where they are bedeviled by rats, snakes, mosquitoes, and harsh, unfriendly growing conditions, noisy neighbors, dangerous locals, and menacing law enforcement.” The cast includes Veronica Mars’ Adam Rose as Felix, Bones’ Joel David Moore as Phil, MADtv’s Will Sasso as Gesh, and Fleabag’s Brett Gelman.

The New V.I.P.’s – Billed as “Amazon’s first adult animated comedy show,” the half-hour series involves “a group of low level employees who seize control of a major corporation after accidentally murdering their boss.” The New V.I.P.’s stars Agent Carter’s Matt Braunger, Parks and Recreation’s Ben Schwartz, Gone Girl’s Missi Pyle, and Last Man Standing’s Jonathan Adams.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – This one-hour pilot finds Miriam “Midge” Maisel, played by House of Cards’ Rachel Brosnahan (pictured here), in 1958 Manhattan, where “her perfect life suddenly takes an unexpected turn.” That’s when Midge “discovers” a talent for comedy “that takes her from her comfortable life on Riverside Drive through the basket houses and nightclubs of Greenwich Village” all the way “to a spot on Johnny Carson’s couch.” Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Zegen is Midge’s husband Joel Maisel, Family Guy’s Alex Borstein is Susie Myerson, Monk’s Tony Shalhoub is Midge’s father Abe Weinberg, and Two and a Half Men’s Marin Hinkle is her mother Rose.

Oasis – This one-hour drama is based on Michel Faber’s novel The Book of Strange New Things. The story concerns a chaplain, played by Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden (he of the ill-fated “Red Wedding”), who is sent to “help establish a colony on a distant planet. What he ends up discovering not only puts his faith to the test, but life as we know it.” The cast includes Slumdog Millionaire’s Anil Kapoor as Vikram Danesh, Limitless’ Michael Shaw as G.G., Man of Steel’s Antje Traue as Grainger, Game of Thrones’ Mark Addy as Halloran, The Sixth Sense’s Haley Joel Osment as Sy, American Gothic’s Maureen Sebastian as Alicia Ruiz, Coach Sinclair’s Michael Shaffer as Phelps, and Nocturnal Animals’ Zawe Ashton as Severin.

Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to view and vote for the pilots online or via a range of devices.

Previous fan favorites that went on to become series include Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Hand of God and The Man in the High Castle.

“Pilots continue to be the best way to take risks, find voices and evolve the art form of television,” said Joe Lewis, head of comedy, drama and VR at Amazon Studios. “We’re excited about these new worlds, characters and filmmakers. We’re looking forward to another Amazon pilot season and more great customer feedback.”


About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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