Amazon will be adding quite a few new original shows to their catalogue come 2016, according to the Hollywood Reporter. After announcing that they will be renewing their historical series The Man in the High Castle on Friday, the company announced they will be adding a total of eight new series to their slate for next year, and it looks like it will be a pretty big year for Amazon. In addition to The Man in the High Castle, they are renewing their comedy Red Oaks, their drama Hand of God, and children’s show Tumble Leaf. These new shows range from comedies and a half-hour bio series to a political thriller and a children’s book adaptation.
Highston – A family comedy from Bob Nelson (writer of Nebraska), Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (who directed Little Miss Sunshine), and executive producer Sacha Baron Cohen. The premise focuses on the character of 19-year-old Highston Liggetts (played by Lewis Pullman), who is in an incredibly unique predicament: he has a number of celebrity friends that only he can see. He is then forced to seek psychiatric help by his parents, played by Chris Parnell and Mary Lynn Rajskub, but his uncle Billy (played by Curtis Armstrong) assures him that nothing is wrong. The pilot will feature Shaquille O’Neal and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea as guest stars.
— Curtis Armstrong (@curtisisbooger) December 18, 2015
One Mississippi – A dark comedy from Tig Notaro, executive producers Diablo Cody (creator of United States of Tara), and Louis CK (Louie). Loosely based on her own life, Notaro plays the lead character who is brought back to her hometown by the tragic death of her mother.
Congratulations @TigNotaro on her Amazon Prime pick up for One Mississippi! Exciting
— Mary Lynn Rajskub (@MaryLynnRajskub) December 19, 2015
Z: The Beginning of Everything – An autobiographical series pilot based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald, with Christina Ricci portraying the beautiful and talented Southern belle. The pilot is written by Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin, directed by actor Tim Blake Nelson, and executive produced by Pamela Koffler and Christine Vachon as well as Ricci.
The other shows include Good Girls Revolt starring Genevieve Angelson and executive produced by Dana Calvo; the political thriller Patriot; and the kids series Danger & Eggs, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, and Niko and the Sword of Light.
This pilot season has been the most successful for Amazon since it started airing original programming back in 2013. The long list of shows do not have premiere dates yet, but it is possible that they could make their debut in full on Amazon Prime Video all throughout 2016. Other shows that Amazon Prime subscribers can look forward to are Bryan Cranston’s Sneaky Pete and David E. Kelley’s Trial which are currently in development.
All together, the announcement of these new shows and the renewals says a lot about what Amazon is hoping to do next year in the world of original programming. This is all arriving at a perfect time, since the company’s streaming rivals have also been stepping up their game for the last 12 months. Netflix recently announced that they are doubling the number of original shows they will debut in 2016 while Hulu has been doing well with their new subscription options. This huge series order by Amazon only ensures that the television business is expanding while becoming more complex, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
It looks like Amazon is ahead of the pack in overall critics scores and Netflix is excelling at nearly every other category. Netflix scored very well with audiences, because Amazon’s best critically reviewed programs, Transparent and The Man in the High Castle, both had lower audience ratings than they did critic scores.
Deadline reports that the one Amazon pilot that has yet to be given a series order, Shane Black’s Edge, is having its option extended.
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