Amazon's next set of television pilots will roll out on August 28th, when interested viewers will be able to watch them all online and provide feedback about which ones should get turned into full series — and which ones should be left alone. This'll be Amazon's third pilot season, and it'll feature its smallest slate of shows yet: just five of them, compared to 14 and 10 in the prior two seasons. That's not to say that Amazon is necessarily putting more or less effort into these five, but as usual, they do have a number of big names behind them — including one show that comes from David Gordon Green and Steven Soderbergh.
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The pilots include two hour-long thrillers and three half-hour comedies. The first thriller, Hysteria, focuses on a strange, debilitating illness that somehow spreads over social media; the second thriller, Hand of God, comes from the director of Quantum of Solace and sounds as though it's a western, focused on a man who goes on a "vigilante quest." The comedies include The Cosmopolitans, about American ex-pats in Paris; Really, about marriage and friendship in Chicago; and Red Oaks, Green and Soderbergh's show about coming of age in the ‘80s. They'll all be available to view in the US and UK.
This certainly isn't Amazon's highest profile lineup for pilots, but it appears that Amazon may be trying to spread out its shows rather than packing them all together into a single event. It was nearly a year between Amazon's first and second pilot season, whereas it'll be closer to half a year between its second and third. Despite getting big names on board each time, Amazon has yet to make a dent with its original programming that same way that Netflix has, despite clear intentions to do so. Creating a good show is hard work — just look at how many series fail on traditional TV every year — and Amazon seems to still be discovering what it takes to find true success.