The three half-hour comedies and two hour-long dramas in this pilot season are packed with big names. Oscar winner Steven Soderbergh is producing "Red Oaks," a comedy about a suburban New Jersey tennis club in 1985. Mark Forster, known for directing "Monster's Ball" and "World War Z," is making his TV debut with drama "Hand of God."
Also making his TV debut is acclaimed writer/director Whit Stillman, with a show called "The Cosmopolitans," a romantic comedy starring Chloe Sevigny and Adam Brody, set in Paris. "Hysteria" is a thriller created and written by Shaun Cassidy, the former pop TV star. And "Really" is a comedy about suburban Chicago couples from comedy producer Jay Chandrasekhar and executive producer Jamie Tarses.
In a twist, the company is offering them free for anyone to watch, soliciting viewer feedback to figure out which to turn into full series. Those series are then available exclusively for members of its $99 annual Prime subscription service.
Amazon also just greenlit five more kids' TV pilots for production—including three animated shows and two live-action shows—which will be available in early 2015. This summer Amazon debuted three kids series, of which it'll release new episodes over the course of the fall. (Amazon's staking its claim in the kids content space with licensed content as well—last year it made a big deal for Nickelodeon kids content.)