New Amazon pilots include shows from Ridley Scott, Carlton Cuse

Actor Brian Dennehy is in a new Amazon pilot, "Cocked"
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

A diverse slate of series ranging from a Civil War drama to a satire of New Age yoga culture will highlight Amazon Studio’s first pilot season lineup for 2015. The projects come from a variety of top producers including Ridley Scott (“Alien”), Carlton Cuse (“Lost”) and Randall Wallace (“Braveheart”).

The slate also includes Amazon’s first docu-series pilot, “The New Yorker Presents,” inspired by the popular magazine.

As with previous pilot seasons, users of the online retailer will be invited to view and provide feedback on the pilots they want to see turned into full series.

The new pilots include:


“Cocked”: Sam Trammell (“True Blood”) stars as Richard Paxon, a family man and corporate lap dog who abandoned his family in rural Virginia 20 years ago and vowed never to return. But unfortunate circumstances force him to leave the big city and return home to help his family’s gun business -- one of the oldest in the county. The hourlong dark comedy pilot also stars Jason Lee (“My Name is Earl”), Brian Dennehy (“The Good Wife”) and Laura Fraser (“Breaking Bad”) and is created by Sam Baum (“Lie to Me”) and Sam Shaw (the TV series “Manhattan”).

“Down Dog”: Josh Casuabon (“I Just Want My Pants Back”) plays Logan Wood, a carefree lover of life and women who teaches yoga to trophy wives and celebrities at a studio owned by his older girlfriend Amanda (Paget Brewster). When they break up, life becomes more complicated. Kris Kristofferson (“Lone Star”) and Lyndsy Fonseca (“How I Met Your Mother”) co-star.

“Mad Dogs”: Based on a British series, the hourlong dark comedy follows the twisted reunion of a group of underachieving forty-something friends who are all at different crossroads in their lives. The cast includes Steve Zahn (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Billy Zane (“Titanic”) and Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”). The pilot was created by Cris Cole (“The Bill”).

“The Man in the High Castle”: Based on Phillip K. Dick’s 1962 alternative history, the show explores the question of what would have happened if the Allied Forces hand lost World War II. The cast includes Rufus Sewell (“Dark City”) and DJ Qualls (“Hustle and Flow”). Frank Spotnitz (“The X-Files”) wrote the pilot and is an executive producer along with Ridley Scott and David W. Zucker.

“The New Yorker Presents”: Based on the award-winning magazine, the show features short films, poems and interviews. Participants include Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), director Jonathan Demme (“Silence of the Lambs”) and performance artist Marina Abromovic.

Point of Honor: At the start of the Civil War, a Virginia family, led by their West Point educated son John Rhodes (Nathan Parsons of “True Blood”), makes the controversial decision to defend the South while freeing all of their slaves. The pilot was directed by Randall Wallace and written by Carton Cuse.

“Salem Rogers”: Leslie Bibb (“The Cable Guy”) is in the title role of an overly confident, hard-partying former supermodel forced to face her past and reenter the real world after 10 years in a posh rehab center. Cast includes Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”), Jane Kaczmarek (“Malcolm in the Middle”) and Harry Hamlin (“Mad Men”). The pilot was written by newcomer Lindsey Stoddart, who submitted the script as part of the studio’s online screenplay submission process.

Twitter: @GeBraxton