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Amazon wants subscribers to watch, vote on its five new series pilots for 2017

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Amazon is offering up five pilots for subscribers of its Prime Video service to view and vote on.

Typically during pilot season, Amazon releases initial episodes for new series, then asks members to fill out a survey once they’ve watched them. The feedback helps determine which series receive a full-season pickup.

The shows range in scope from a sci-fi drama to Amazon’s first foray into an animated series for adults. Here’s a rundown:

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

From Gilmore Girls creators Any Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino comes this hourlong period drama set in Manhattan in the late 1950s. It stars Rachel Brosnahan (House of Cards) as Miriam “Midge” Maisel, who appears to have the perfect Upper West Side nuclear family life. But when she discovers her desire and talent for stand-up comedy, her life gets turned upside down. Michael Zegen (Boardwalk Empire) stars as Midge’s husband, Joel. The cast also includes Alex Borstein (best known from her time on MADtv), Tony Shalhoub (Monk, Nurse Jackie), and Marin Hinkle (Speechless, Two and a Half Men).


Oasis, Amazon’s bid to capitalize on the growing trend toward sci-fi, is based on the cult-hit novel The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber. But what might really get viewer’s attention is the fact that it stars a pair of Game of Thrones alumni: Richard Madden (Robb Stark) and Mark Addy (King Robert Baratheon). Madden plays the main character, a chaplain who is sent to space in hopes of setting up a colony on another planet. His discoveries there, however, put his faith to the test. Also starring in the pilot are Anil Kapoor (Slumdog Millionaire), Michael Shaw (Man of Steel), Haley Joel Osment (Comedy Bang! Bang!), Maureen Sebastian (American Gothic), and Zawe Ashton (Nocturnal Animals). Bridge of Spies’ Matt Charman penned the hourlong pilot.

The New V.I.P.’s

The New V.I.P.’s, Amazon’s first foray into the growing animated comedy genre aimed at adults, follows a group of employees who take over a major company after they accidentally murder the boss. It features the voice acting talents of Matt Braunger (Take My Wife), Ben Schwartz (House of Lies), Missi Pyle (Another Period), and Jonathan Adams (Last Man Standing). Steve Dildarian (The Life & Times of Tim) created the show.

The Legend of Master Legend

Dubbed a dark comedy, this half-hour series is set in Las Vegas, where a made-up superhero, Master Legend, a.k.a. Frank Lafount (played by John Hawkes, Eastbound & Down), attempts to protect the city’s residents from evil. But while he believes he has superpowers, his family isn’t so convinced of his heroic status. Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster of Transparent are both writers.

Budding Prospects

Set in the 1980s, Budding Prospects follows a trio of men who move from San Francisco to Mendocino, California, with dreams of growing marijuana. But while they are expecting rustic beauty, what they get is a run-down shack that’s infested with rodents and critters, annoying and dangerous neighbors, and law enforcement that spells trouble. It stars Adam Rose (Supernatural), Joel David Moore (Bones), Will Sasso (Modern Family), and Brett Gelman (Blunt Talk). Terry Zwigoff, known best for Bad Santa, directed and executive produced the pilot episode, and Melissa Axelrod, who was Zwigoff’s assistant on Bad Santa, is making her cowriting debut.

The 2017 pilot season will commence on March 17.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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