Amazon orders five pilots to series, renews 'Mozart in the Jungle'

Amazon orders full seasons for pilots 'The Man in the High Castle,' 'Mad Dogs,' 'The New Yorker Presents'

Amazon announced Wednesday that it has ordered full seasons of five pilots, including a Philip K. Dick adaptation, a magazine show inspired by one of the nation's most esteemed publications and two children's programs.

Pilots getting a greenlight are "The Man in the High Castle," "The New Yorker Presents," "Mad Dogs," "Just Add Magic" and "The Stinky & Dirty Show." 

"These new series, including our first docu-series, are some of our most ambitious to date and I’m looking forward to their premieres in the future,” said Roy Price, vice president of Amazon Studios, in a news release announcing the pickups.

Series: Inside the L.A. Philharmonic

"The Man in the High Castle," based on Dick's alternative history novel of the same name, is set in a world in which the Allies lost World War II and control of the United States is divided between Germany and Japan. The hourlong drama from executive producer Ridley Scott stars Alexa Davalos and Luke Kleintank

Amazon said that the pilot for "The Man in the High Castle," directed by David Semel and written by Frank Spotnitz, is the most-watched in its history. The online retailer and streaming service has a unique development process in which it makes pilots available to customers and uses their feedback to determine which projects go to series. 

Adapted from a British series, "Mad Dogs" explores what happens when a group of disgruntled fortysomething buddies travel to Belize to celebrate the early retirement of their very successful friend. The dark comedy stars Steve Zahn, Michael Imperioli, Billy Zane, Romany Malco and Ben Chaplin. It was created by Cris Cole and its team of executive producers includes "The Shield" showrunner Shawn Ryan.

"The New Yorker Presents" is a half-hour docu-series featuring reported pieces, short films and interviews drawn from and inspired by the celebrated magazine and its writers. The pilot episode included a documentary by Jonathan Demme based on a story by staff writer Rachel Aviv and an interview with performance artist Marina Abramovic by staff writer Ariel Levy.

"Just Add Magic," which is aimed at kids from 6 to 11, is about a girl who discovers a cookbook with special powers, while "The Stinky & Dirty Show," aimed at the preschool set, is an animated series depicting the adventures of a garbage truck named Stinky and a backhoe loader named Dirty. 

Amazon also announced the renewal of the classical-music dramedy "Mozart in the Jungle" for a second season. The series from executive producers Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Paul Weitz premiered in December to mostly positive reviews and stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Saffron Burrows and Malcolm McDowell.

The five new original series will join Amazon's expanding original programming, which includes "Mozart in the Jungle," the Golden-Globe winning "Transparent," police procedural "Bosch" and the beltway comedy "Alpha House." 

Also in the works at Amazon is an as-yet-untitled series from writer/director Woody Allen. The project bypassed Amazon's pilot process and was ordered directly to series. 

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