Amazon Studios has ordered pilots for two hour-long dramas, as the company's instant video service looks to compete with the wild success of Netflix series like House of Cards. One series, The After, will have its pilot written and directed by Chris Carter, creator of The X-Files. As you might imagine, the series will include mysterious elements, though Amazon isn't saying much else just yet. "It’s more fun if it’s kept a mystery!" Carter says in a statement. "So let me just say that this is a show that explores human frailty, possibility, terror, and the triumph of the human spirit."
Writer from 'The Wire' is behind the 'Bosch' pilot
The second series, Bosch, is based on a best-selling detective series by Michael Connelly, which follows an LAPD homicide detective named Harry Bosch. Connelly will be a writer on the pilot alongside Eric Overmyer, who has previously written for The Wire. The series will follow Bosch as he stands trial for murder while continuing the chase after the killer of a 13 year old.
Both series fall far outside of Amazon Studio's scope so far, which has been a mix of comedies and children's shows. But Amazon is likely eager to receive the same type of accolades that Netflix has for original dramas — something that would greatly help to legitimize it as a production company and streaming platform. Amazon is also rumored to be working on an hour-long period drama set in Los Angeles in 1910. Rumor of the period drama comes from Deadline, which accurately broke stories on both The After and Bosch months before Amazon's announcement today, so there's a good chance that it really is on the way.
But while Amazon is increasing its focus on original content, it's still continuing to bolster that with exclusive syndication rights to content by other studios. Amazon also announced today that the latest season of Falling Skies — the TNT sci-fi series produced by Steven Spielberg — will be available exclusively on Prime Instant Video. It's a strategy Amazon has been employing all year, exclusively locking down streaming rights for major series including Downton Abbey, Under the Dome, and Justified.
Like with Amazon's previous pilots, the success of both The After and Bosch will be subject to the whims of viewers — not just studio executives. Early next year, both pilots with be streaming on Prime Instant Video and Amazon's Lovefilm, and presumably will receive full series orders if fans enjoy them enough. Amazon's track record so far is far from perfect though, but with the names being brought on for these new dramas, the studio could have better luck this time around.