The Man in the High Castle, a Ridley Scott-produced adaptation of Philip K. Dick's alternate history novel, is now officially part of Amazon's video roster. The company announced today that Man in the High Castle and four other titles have made the jump from TV test pilot to full series. This includes the dark comedy Mad Dogs — an adaptation of a UK series about a group of underachieving 40-somethings whose reunion "becomes a labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception, and murder" — and combination fiction / documentary / general culture series The New Yorker Presents, as well as two children's shows: YA book adaptation Just Add Magic and preschool-level series The Stinky & Dirty Show.
Amazon released a total of 13 pilots last month, with full series approval contingent on user response. What didn't make the cut? Among other things, the comedies Cocked, Down Dog, and Salem Rogers, as well as Point of Honor, a civil war drama whose pilot was written by Lost showrunner Carlton Cuse. The Man in the High Castle and other successful shows will join existing Amazon series like Alpha House and Transparent, both of which are coming back for new seasons. Amazon also announced last month that it would be producing a TV show written and directed entirely by Woody Allen, which will air in 2016.
The Man in the High Castle's pilot was deeply flawed, but it's a decent-looking and moderately faithful adaptation of Philip K. Dick's 1962 novel, set in an America that's been colonized by Japan and Germany after Axis powers won World War II. According to Amazon, it became the most-watched pilot ever — given that Amazon's pilots have been fairly hit-or-miss, and few have had the name recognition of Man in the High Castle, this is fairly plausible. On the more hyperbolic side, Amazon also printed a customer review whose author claims the pilot "may very well be the single best thing I've ever seen or heard," which is maybe a little depressing. Regardless, all of Amazon's new shows will be available to Prime customers in the US, UK, and Germany later this year and in 2016.