Amazon announced seven new shows Tuesday morningwhich will debut on its streaming service, Amazon Instant Video, next year.
The list includes new shows from Carlton Cuse (“Lost”), Ridley Scott, Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files”) and Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”) along with a half-hour docu-series from “The New Yorker” magazine.
Amazon’s roll-out strategy is to put its shows through a trial period.
The premiere episodes will debut on Amazon Instant Video for free where viewers will be able to vote on which shows they would like to see made into full series.
Amazon Studios, which launched in 2010, recently renewed new series “Transparent” featuring Jeffrey Tambor for a second season.
Here are the show descriptions from Amazon.
1. “Point of Honour” (hour-long series)
Pilot director: Randall Wallace (“Braveheart”)
Written by: Carlton Cuse (“Lost”)
At the start of the Civil War, a Virginia family, led by their West Point bred son, John Rhodes (played by Nathan Parsons, True Blood), makes the controversial decision to defend the South while freeing all of their slaves. At battle against his northern brethren and his best friend and brother-in-law Robert Sumner (played by Christopher O’Shea, Baby Daddy), John leaves his three strong-willed sisters at home to run the plantation that is now without a free labour source. The choice to protect the life they have always known and defend the moral high ground will pit the family against one another and test their strength, courage and love.
2. “Cocked” (hour-long series)
Pilot director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts (“Skull Island”)
Stars: Dreama Walker and Brian Dennehy from “The Good Wife” and Laura Fraser (“Breaking Bad”)
Created by Sam Baum (Lie to Me) and Sam Shaw (Manhattan — TV series), Cocked stars Sam Trammell (True Blood) as Richard Paxson, a family man and corporate lap dog who left his family in rural Virginia twenty years before and vowed never to go back. After some unfortunate circumstances, he is forced to leave the big city and return home to help his family’s gun business — one of the oldest in the country. But no good deed goes unpunished. Older brother Grady Paxson, played by Jason Lee (My Name is Earl), who’s a bachelor, playboy and gun aficionado, isn’t so happy to have him back, and Richard’s liberal wife and two opinionated teenage children are horrified by the world they have been thrown into. Hilarity, epic fights and emotional breakdowns ensue.
3. “Down Dog” (half-hour series)
Pilot Director: Bradley Silberling (“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”)
Stars: Lyndsy Fonseca (“How I Met Your Mother”), Will Greenberg (“Halt and Catch Fire”), and Alysia Reiner (“Orange is the New Black”)
Blessed with good looks, a winning smile, hippie parents and a Southern California upbringing, life has been relatively easy thus far for Logan Wood (played by Josh Casaubon, I Just Want My Pants Back). In his late 30’s, having coasted through romances with countless women and various random jobs, he now teaches yoga to the trophy wives, hot mums and aspiring celebrities of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. And he’s damn good at it. But when Logan and his current girlfriend, a successful and attractive older woman named Amanda (played by Paget Brewster, Criminal Minds) who happens to be the owner of the yoga studio, break up, life starts to get more complicated.
4. “Mad Dogs” (hour-long dark comedy)
Created by: Cris Cole (“The Bill”)
Excutive produced by: Cris Cole, Shawn Ryan (“The Shield”), and Marney Hochman (“Last Resort”)
Stars: Steve Zahn (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Billy Zane (“Twin Peaks”), Romany Malco (“Weeds”), Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”)
Based on the hit UK series, Mad Dogs follows the twisted reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends — a mixture of single, married and recently divorced — who are all at different crossroads in their lives. Celebrating the early retirement of an old friend at his gorgeous Belize villa, grudges begin to emerge and secrets explode as their trip becomes a labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception and murder. Mad Dogs is a twisted tale of friendship put to the ultimate test. As an inconceivable chain of events unfolds, cracks within the group widen before the friends realise that the only people they can trust are each other, the last people they want to be relying on.
5. “The Man in the High Castle” (hour-long series)
Executive produced by: Ridley Scott
Stars: Alexa Davalos (“Mob City”), Luke Kleintank (“Pretty Little Liars”), Rupert Evans (“The Village”)
Based on Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history, The Man in the High Castle considers the question of what would have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. Some 20 years after that loss, the United States and much of the world has now been split between Japan and Germany, the major hegemonic states. But the tension between these two powers is mounting, and this stress is playing out in the western U.S. Through a collection of characters in various states of posing (spies, sellers of falsified goods, others with secret identities),The Man in the High Castle provides an intriguing tale about life and history as it relates to authentic and manufactured reality.
6. “Salem Rogers” (half hour comedy)
Directed by: Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”)
Stars: Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”), Brad Morris (“Playing House”), Harry Hamlin (“Mad Men”), Toks Olagundoye (“The Neighbours”), Brad Morris (“Cougar Town”)
Leslie Bibb (About a Boy) plays Salem Rogers, an overly confident, outrageously blunt, and hard-partying former supermodel who is forced to face her past and re-enter the real world after ten years in a posh rehab center. Intent on recreating her glamorous lifestyle and modelling success, she tracks down Agatha (played by Rachel Dratch, Saturday Night Live), her former assistant who has since built a career as an author of self-help books to help her win back the spotlight.
7. “The New Yorker Presents” (half-hour documentary series)
The New Yorker Presents is a completely unique viewing experience that features Tony-Award winner Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) and actor Brett Gelman (Go On) in a short film based on a story bySimon Rich (Saturday Night Live) and directed by Emmy Award-winning director Troy Miller (Arrested Development); a poem by Matthew Dickman; a documentary by Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs) about biologist Tyrone Hayes based on a Rachel Aviv article; and an interview with famous performance artist, Marina Abramović, conducted by The New Yorker writer Ariel Levy.
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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