For the first time, Amazon Studios is switching its focus from comedy to drama. Amazon has just announced that they've greenlit two new drama pilots - both involving some pretty big names.
The first is called The After and it's being written and directed by Chris Carter, the man behind The X-Files (which he created, produced, wrote for, and directed some episodes). Carter also created the short-lived Millennium and Harsh Realm, as well as the X-Files spin-off The Lone Gunmen. From Amazon:
Written and directed by Emmy-nominee Chris Carter (The X-Files), executive produced by Marc Rosen of Georgeville Television and produced by Gabe Rotter, The After follows eight strangers who are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation. Sharon Lawrence, Jamie Kennedy, Aldis Hodge, Andrew Howard, Arielle Kebbel, Jaina Lee Ortiz, Adrian Pasdar and Louise Monot will star.
“I’m very superstitious about talking about what I’m working on before it’s finished, and it’s more fun if it’s kept a mystery! So let me just say that this is a show that explores human frailty, possibility, terror, and the triumph of the human spirit,” said Chris Carter, creator of The After. “I’m so excited to be telling this story with Amazon in this new frontier of television.”
There were reports as early as late august that Amazon was eyeing Carter's series.
The other pilot is for a show called Bosch, which is based on author Michael Connelly's book series of the same name. Bosch "follows a relentless LAPD homicide detective as he pursues the killer of a 13-year-old boy while standing trial in federal court on accusations that he murdered a suspected serial killer in cold blood." It's being written by Eric Overmyer, who wrote and produced a handful of episodes of the popular HBO dramas The Wire and Treme.
These will be hour-long pilots.
“We are very excited to be working with creators like Michael Connelly and Chris Carter, both epic storytellers in their own right,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “For the first time we are bringing Amazon customers hour-long programming and we can’t wait to hear what they think of these new stories.”
Amazon has been busy producing pilots (and greenlighting some full series runs) over the past year, but until now they had mainly focused on comedies and children's programming. This step into hour-long drama means that they are preparing to do battle with other streaming services who offer high-quality original dramatic content - you know, Netflix, HBO.
As always, Amazon Studios is putting the fate of their pilots squarely into the hands of the viewers. The pilots, which will be completed early next year, will be shown for free on Amazon Instant Video. From there, fan response will determine if they make it to full series production.
Image via Wikimedia Commons