By Greg Braxton
8:00 AM CDT, March 31, 2014
New series from "The X-Files" creator Chris Carter, popular mystery author Michael Connelly and actor-writer Jason Schwartzman are on their way to your computer, mobile devices and home TV.
Amazon has given the green light to six series produced for the online retailer, which, like other online video services such as Hulu Plus and Netflix, is moving aggressively into the original programming arena. The new slate of shows were approved after their initial episodes received favorable responses during Amazon's second pilot season earlier this year, where viewers watch and comment on prospective series.
"We're super-excited," said Roy Price, director of Amazon Studios. "People are really responding to our pilot season — our response was up 100% from the first season."
Some of the new series will premiere this year, while others will debut in 2015.
In addition to the new shows, "Alpha House," the comedy about U.S. senators-turned-roommates written by Garry Trudeau ("Doonesbury"), is returning for a second season. The show, which stars John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy, is the most popular series on Amazon Instant Video.
The new Amazon originals include two hourlong dramas. One is Carter's "The After," which revolves around a group of strangers thrown together who suddenly must help each other survive in a violent world that defies explanation. Jamie Kennedy, Sharon Lawrence, Adrian Pasdar, Arielle Kebbel and Andrew Howard are among the performers in the pilot who will return to the series.
The other is Connelly's "Bosch," which is spun from his series of novels about LAPD homicide detective Hieronymus "Harry" Bosch. Connelly and Eric Overmyer ("The Wire) will co-write the series, which will star Titus Welliver, Annie Wersching and Jamie Hector.
Amazon has ordered eight episodes of "The After" and 10 episodes of "Bosch."
The other series that have an order of 10 episodes include:
— "Mozart in the Jungle," a half-hour comedic drama about "sex, drugs and classical music." The returning cast includes Gael Garcia Bernal, Saffron Burrows, Malcolm McDowell and Bernadette Peters. The series will be written by Schwartzman ("The Grand Budapest Hotel"), Roman Coppola ("Moonrise Kingdom"), Alex Timberg and Paul Weitz.
— "Transparent," a dramedy about a Los Angeles family with serious boundary issues. The show, from Jill Soloway ("Six Feet Under"), stars Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light, Gaby Hoffman, Amy Landecker and Jay Duplass.
One pilot that did not make the series cut was "The Rebels," which starred Natalie Zea as a woman who suddenly becomes the owner of a pro football team after her husband, who had been the owner, dies. Also, Amazon did not order a second season of "Betas," about a group of twentysomethings trying to launch a Silicon Valley start-up.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times