Amazon adds 5 new original shows to lineup, turns down 8 others

Posted at 2:10 PM, Feb 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-18 15:01:55-05

Amazon has given the green light to five new series that will join its award-winning lineup of original shows.

The company announced its latest additions on Wednesday morning. Here’s a look at each of the shows that are scheduled to be available via Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service later this year or in 2016:

“Mad Dogs”
Genre: Dark Comedy / Drama
Notable Names Attached: Steve Zahn (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Billy Zane (“Titanic”), Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”), Romany Malco (“Weeds”)

A still from the pilot of "Mad Dogs." (Amazon Studios)

This show with hour-long episodes follows a group of 40-something male friends who are “all seemingly at crossroads in their lives,” according to Amazon Studios. It’s based on a British series of the same name, from the same creator, Cris Cole. The British version ran for four seasons and its tone was compared to the 2000 movie “Sexy Beast.”

“The Man in the High Castle”
Genre: Drama
Notable Names Attached: Alexa Davalos (“Clash of the Titans”), Luke Kleintank (“Pretty Little Liars”), Ridley Scott (Director - “Gladiator,” “Alien”), Frank Spotnitz (Writer - “The X-Files”)

A still from the pilot of "The Man in the High Castle." (Amazon Studios)

What if the bad guys had won the war? This ambitious show, based on a Philip K. Dick novel, presents an alternative history that ponders what may have happened if the Allied Powers had lost World War II. The show is set in the western United States as Japan and Germany command the majority of the world. Its executive producers include Academy Award-nominated director Ridley Scott and Emmy-nominated producer David W. Zucker.

“The New Yorker Presents”
Genre: Documentary Series
Notable Names Attached: Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”), Troy Miller (Director - “Arrested Development”), Jonathan Demme (Director - “The Silence of the Lambs”)

A still from "The New Yorker Presents." (Amazon Studios)

This half-hour series will present unique nonfiction stories each week, under the banner of The New Yorker magazine. The show is executive produced by Alex Gibney, Oscar-winning director of documentaries “Taxi to the Dark Side” and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”

“The Stinky & Dirty Show”
Genre: Children’s / Animated

Amazon recommends this wonderfully titled series for preschool-aged children. The cartoon is based on the “I Stink!” book series by Kate & Jim McMullan and follows a garbage truck and a backhoe loader who happen to be best friends. The series is animated by Brown Bag Films, Ltd, the same company who illustrates Disney’s hit show “Doc McStuffins.”

“Just Add Magic”
Genre: Children’s / Live-Action

This series is aimed at kids aged 6 to 11 years old. It is adapted from a young adult novel and the show comes from two writers from “The Fairly OddParents.” Its story follows three girls who discover they can make magic out of a mysterious cookbook.

In January, Amazon announced 13 new pilots were streaming online for free and that each would have the chance to become a full series for the company. Users watched the shows and rated each, adding their feedback to the process of selecting the shows. To see the full list of pilots that were rejected, along with more information on the five selections, click here.

The pilot episodes for all five selected series are streaming now for free from Amazon. Click here to see them.

Last year, Amazon used the same process to green light several original shows, including “Transparent,” which won the Golden Globe Award for best comedy television series at January’s ceremony.

Clint Davis is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @MrClintDavis.