|By Business Wire||
|March 31, 2014 09:10 AM EDT||
(NASDAQ: AMZN)—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.
“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,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “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 Garcia 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.
Here’s what customers had to say:
Prime Time Original Series:
The After: “Love the characters and the story. Thanks Amazon for getting Chris Carter and an excellent cast together. Will be waiting for the next episodes!”
Bosch: “One of the most flawless adaptations of a popular series I've ever had the pleasure of viewing! Rate this series five stars so AMAZON gives it a full-season order!”
Mozart in the Jungle: “This one is a real winner! The characters are engaging and the plot was realistic. I can't wait to see more!”
Transparent: “What a delightful blend of everything, writing, acting, storyline, and just plain family realness. I hope to see this show picked up because this family has multiple stories to tell and I want to hear and see them all. Great job!”
Kids Original Series:
Gortimer Gibbons Life on Normal Street: “There was nothing in this show we did not like. It had a perfect script and perfect cast. Can't wait for the next adventure!”
Wishenpoof!: “Watched this show tonight and cannot wait to share it with all our mom friends. The show was colorful, beautifully animated, and really taps into the imaginative spirit of kids everywhere.”
Here’s what the critics are saying:
On Mozart in the Jungle: “Classical music finally gets its own Kitchen Confidential in this comedy based on Blair Tindall’s memoir. It’s sort of like Smash, except simultaneously more authentic and much funnier. And Lola Kirke—sister of Girls star Jemima—makes an appealing heroine.”—Dalton Ross, Entertainment Weekly
“This year's batch of brand new pilots from Amazon Studios just went live, and there are surprising numbers of stars in the mix. From a drug-laced drama about classical music with Gael Garcia-Bernal to a dysfunctional family comedy with Jeffrey Tambor (wait that sounds familiar), there's something for everybody.”—Adam Clark Estes, Gizmodo
“I watch a lot of TV pilots, and here's the biggest question I had after watching The After, a new Amazon show from X-Files creator Chris Carter. Why didn't a cable or broadcast network make this show? It's certainly better than a lot of the one-hour programs the broadcast networks have debuted in the last year or two, and the first hour of Carter's new project as good as or better than a fair number of cable pilots.”—Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post
On Transparent: “The show has authenticity and specificity. The family is immediately recognizable as a very true-to-life nominally Jewish, L.A.-bred, casually super-affluent clan. By the episode’s last act … I was already completely invested in the characters … Transparent already has me addicted.”—Willa Paskin, Slate
On Bosch: “As a longtime fan of the 18 novels about the hard-boiled Los Angeles homicide detective, I would say: Nailed it.”—Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times
“Transparent is my favorite pilot in years, and by a lot.”—Margaret Lyons, Vulture
“Running the gamut from dark comedy to noir to the latest from X-Files mastermind Chris Carter, the emphasis is almost entirely on mature, dramatic subject matter — and after watching the full line-up, it’s clear that Netflix is no longer the only game in town.”—Bryan Bishop, The Verge
Creators of each series commented on today’s announcement:
The After: “The great news is we get the chance to continue working with such a talented group of people,” said Chris Carter. “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: “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,” said Michael Connelly. “We’re now off to make something really good.”
Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street: “I couldn’t be more proud of our show and our creative team,” said David Anaxagoras. “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: “We are delighted that Amazon chose to pick up Mozart in the Jungle,” said Roman Coppola. “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: “It’s honestly a dream come true to make nine more episodes of Transparent,” said Jill Soloway. “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!: “I am thrilled to be working with Amazon, as I have been a huge ‘Amazon mom’ and Prime customer since the very beginning,” said Angela Santomero. “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.
About Amazon Studios
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 and will then be notified within 45 days if that script is optioned. Amazon Studios will read and review all submissions and those who choose to make their projects public will also receive feedback from the Amazon Studios community.
More than 8,000 movie and approximately 2,000 series projects have been submitted to Amazon Studios. Amazon Studios continues to invite series creators to upload their proposals for comedy and children’s programming at http://studios.amazon.com/getting-started/series or submit them privately via Amazon Studios.
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, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle Paperwhite is the world’s best-selling and most advanced e-reader. It features new display technology with higher contrast, the next generation built-in light, a faster processor, the latest touch technology, and exclusive new features designed from the ground up for readers. Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, features improved fonts and faster page turns. The new Kindle Fire HDX features a stunning exclusive 7” or 8.9” HDX display, a quad-core 2.2 GHz processor, 2x more memory, and 11 hours of battery life, as well as exclusive new features of Fire OS 3.0 including X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, Prime Instant Video downloads, and the revolutionary new Mayday button. The all-new Kindle Fire HD includes an HD display, high-performance processor and dual speakers at a breakthrough price.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, www.amazon.es, www.amazon.com.br, www.amazon.in, www.amazon.com.mx, and www.amazon.com.au. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management's expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment and data center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com's financial results is included in Amazon.com's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
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