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Amazon picks up comedy pilot co-written by Jason Schwartzman

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Jason Schwartzman Rushmore
Jason Schwartzman Rushmore

Amazon may not have impressed with its first slate of pilots, but the retail giant's original content arm is continuing its efforts to turn Prime Instant Video into a destination for exclusive television and film programming. Amazon Studios has ordered three more comedy pilots, and these projects have some significant writing talent attached to them.

"Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music."

Perhaps most promising is Mozart in the Jungle, written by Roman Coppola (co-writer of The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom), Jason Schwartzman (best known for his starring role in Rushmore), and Alex Timbers (who has directing and writing credits on theater productions). Schwartzman only has one writing credit to his name — he worked alongside Coppola and Wes Anderson on the script for The Darjeeling Limited — but the project certainly has some notable names. Coppola describes the show as taking place in "two worlds fused together." He says in a press release that "On one side is the high-level skill and sophistication that comes with classical music, and at the same time it’s a story that includes people rising up from the bottom, trying to make it in the big world." It's based on a 2005 book of the same name (subtitled "Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music") that offered a behind-the-scenes look at the classical music business.

Amazon Studios has also greenlit a pilot for The Outlaws, written by Jeremy Garelick (co-writer of The Break-Up) and Jon Weinbach. Former New York Giant Michael Strahan is connected to the show, which is "all about the ins and outs of a professional football team from the perspective of both the players and the back office." Last is Transparent, directed and written by Jill Soloway, who has a number of writing credits for Six Feet Under. It's said to be a "darkly comedic story about an LA family with serious boundary issues," and Jeffrey Tambor of Arrested Development fame is in the pilot.

The pilots come after Amazon encouraged writers to submit scripts for comedy shows last year, and they'll follow the same "crowdsourced" test as the rest of the studio's pilots. When the pilots air on Prime Instant Video and Lovefilm (in the UK) early next year, viewers will get to vote to help choose which shows get developed into a full series. A number of shows have already been selected.