Amazon orders five new pilots featuring Cuban nightclubs and space-faring clergymen

guillermo del toro
While Netflix sometimes seems to suck all of the air out of the room, series like Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent are reminders that — when it comes to original content — Ted Sarandos & Co. are far from the only game in town.

Case in point: Deadline is reporting that Amazon has just ordered five new pilots with some big/talented names attached.

Here’s the rundown:

Carnival Row, a drama from Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth) set in a futuristic city inhabited by various unsavory creatures and at least one serial killer.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, a dramedy from Gilmore Girls creator Amy-Sherman Palladino about a 1950s housewife who becomes one of the first female stand-up comics.

Strange New Things, a drama from writer Matt Charman (Bridge of Spies) and director Kevin MacDonald (The Last King of Scotland) that follows an English pastor who journeys into deep space. The project was adapted from Michael Faber’s novel The Book of New Strange Things.

The Legend of Master Legend, a superhero comedy from writers Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster based on a Rolling Stone article that showcased real-life crime-fighting vigilantes.

Tropicana, a drama from producer Andrea Simon that centers around Cuba’s famous Tropicana Club in the days before the revolution of the 1950s.

There’s plenty to chew on here and — while the headliner among these five is probably del Toro’s project – each of these sounds interesting in its own way. Clergymen in space, trailblazing comediennes, and real-world superheroes are all intriguing premises, and, with Cuba beginning to open up to Americans, Tropicana sounds like it may just be the right show at the right time.

Time will tell if any of these shows catch on but, either way, we’re happy to see streamers like Amazon continuing to seed the TV landscape with creative ideas.

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