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'Transparent' Breaks Records, Gets Renewed for a Second Season

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In just over a week since its debut, Transparent has climbed to #1 on Prime Instant Video and earned a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes with a 98 percent critic rating.

With the overwhelming success of the show, Amazon Studios has greenlit a second season of Transparent, to air in 2015.

Viewers and media outlets from ET to the Today Show to NPR continue to buzz about Transparent, helping to turn the dramatic comedy into something of a water cooler hit.  Reviewers have embraced the show’s “transcendent empathy” and it’s ability to challenge expectations: 

  • "After I saw the pilot, I called this the best show of the fall. It turns out it’s the best show of the year.” – James Poniewozik, TIME
  • Transparent is a drama/comedy series that could, in theory, make the Emmy nominations next year in either of those categories. It’s that good.” –David Bianculli, NPR
  • “It’s the best new TV show debuting anywhere this fall, by a long stretch.” – Alan Sepinwall, Hitfix 
  • “All told, Transparent is a surprisingly poignant, funny and mature piece of work.” – Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter
  • “Centered on a career-redefining performance by Jeffrey Tambor as a retired professor finally allowing himself to live his true life as a woman, the half-hour, 10-episode series is, quite simply, astonishing to watch.” – Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times
  • “The characters are so multi-layered and their stories so thoroughly tied to each other that Transparent achieves a pleasing denseness, but one of its signal achievements is that it breathes. This is the kind of story that can be told by media companies who are unmoored from most traditional commercial constraints: They can make television that feels artisanal, specific and organic in all the best ways.” – Maureen Ryan, The Huffington Post
  • “Episodes might break your heart, but you’ll keep coming back for more. Take heed, Netflix: Two can play at the binge game.” – Diane Garrett, The Wrap
  • “In quality, Transparent easily rivals anything on HBO, Netflix or network television. Its cast of indie all-stars, playing out tender, beautifully-shot scenes over nostalgic ’70s tunes could be straight out of a film.”  - Kate Sommers-Dawes, Mashable
  • Transparent’s transcendent empathy and wry, raw realism make most of this fall season’s new batch of network sitcoms seem even emptier than usual.” - Matt Roush, TV Guide
  • "Transparent challenges me, shocks me, awes me, and makes me happy to be alive.” - Megan O’Keefe, Decider

'Alpha House' Returns October 24th - Watch All 10 Episodes at Once

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After Friday’s debut of Transparent, we’re excited to announce that more comedy is coming your way. The second season of Alpha House, one of Amazon’s first Original Series, returns Friday, October 24th – with all 10 episodes to be released at once.   

This season the Senators of Alpha House are bracing for the midterm elections, and much like many of their real-life counterparts, their political futures are uncertain.  Senator Biggs (John Goodman), Bettencourt (Clark Johnson) and Laffer (Matt Malloy) might have survived bruising primaries, but now they’re facing strong Democratic challengers and have to pull out all the stops to woo voters over to their side. Meanwhile, Senator Guzman (Mark Consuelos) is preparing for a 2016 bid for the presidency, a pursuit that might bring him into competition with one of his roommates.

Several familiar guest stars will also be returning this season, including Bill Murray, Amy Sedaris, Yara Martinez and Haley Joel Osment. 

"Alpha House has fun mixing real politics with entertainment," says Jonathan Alter, an executive producer of the series. "The magician Penn Jilette is running for the Senate from Nevada against Matt Malloy’s character, and former Governor Rendell in running for the Senate from Pennsylvania against the character played by Clark Johnson. Wanda Sykes and Bob Balaban (Monuments Men) have recurring roles as Democratic senators, and Bradley Whitford makes a guest appearance as a Republican senator battling with Maloney, his old assistant from the West Wing."

Other famous faces you’ll see playing themselves: Senators Elizabeth Warren and John McCain, Wolf Blitzer, George Stephanopoulos, Rachel Maddow, Jane Pauley, Matt Lauer and Grover Norquist. 

Missed the first season?  Catch up now on Prime Instant Video.  And don’t sit out this election season: set your Watchlists for Alpha House on October 24th

Fresh from the Party: ‘Transparent’ Premiere Pics

After earning TIME magazine’s endorsement for “best new fall TV show,” the Los Angeles premiere party for Transparent was a hot ticket. Joining series’ stars Amy Landecker, Jeffrey Tambor, Judith Light and Jay Duplass (above) at the historic Theatre at the Ace Hotel were Hollywood luminaries including Larry David (below), Amanda Peet, Mena Suvari, Bradley Whitford, Jennifer Grey and Dana Delaney. 

Transparent creator Jill Soloway roused the crowd by talking about the “movement and the moment” that the series has inspired. 

See what all the buzz is about when the full season of Transparent debuts next Friday, September 26th only on Amazon Prime Instant Video.  (Photos: Getty Images)

Time to Help Choose the Next Series: 5 New Pilots Premiere August 28th

Big news today: We’re excited to announce Amazon Studios’ third pilot season, beginning August 28th and featuring three half hour comedies The Cosmopolitans, Really and Red Oaks, and two hour-long dramatic thrillers Hand of God and Hysteria.  For one month, it will be up to you to watch, rate and comment – ultimately helping us decide which of them get the greenlight.

“There is something for everyone in this season,” says Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios.  The glamorous life of modern day expats in Paris. The hijinks of a summer job at a country club in 1980s New Jersey. The visions of a vigilante judge who appears to be channeling God.  The complexities of marriage and friendship among a circle of friends in suburban Chicago.  And the mysteries behind a psycho-physiological illness spreading through a small town in Texas. 

You can help choose which of these stories should get “picked up” to become shows. As part of our unique development process, Amazon Studios relies on feedback from viewers, which helps determine the shows that become an Amazon Original Series. In April, Amazon customers posted tens of thousands of comments during the second pilot season, which helped green light six soon-to-launch series, including Transparent, Mozart in the Jungle, Bosch, The After, and kids series Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street and Wishenpoof!

So get ready to watch the five pilots from our third pilot season, which include the following stories:

The Cosmopolitans

Written, directed and produced by Academy Award nominee Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, Barcelona, The Last Days of Disco), The Cosmopolitans follows a group of young American expatriates in contemporary Paris searching for love and friendship in a foreign city. The romantic comedy pilot stars Adam Brody as “Jimmy,” Chloë Sevigny as “Vicky,” Carrie MacLemore as “Aubrey,” Dree Hemingway as “Camille,” Freddy Åsblom as “Fritz,” Jordan Rountree as “Hal,” and Adriano Giannini as “Sandro.” The pilot was filmed on location in Paris.

Hand of God

Marking the television debut of renowned filmmaker Marc Forster (Monster’s Ball, Finding Neverland, World War Z) andwritten by Ben Watkins, Hand of God stars Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman in his first lead television role since Sons of Anarchy as “Judge Pernell Harris.” Hand of God also stars Dana Delany as the Judge’s protective wife “Crystal Harris,” Garret Dillahunt as “KD,” the born-again sociopath whose violent tendencies are exploited by Pernell, Andre Royo as the slick, smart, gregarious, and greedy mayor “Robert ‘Bobo’ Boston,” Alona Tal as Pernell’s grieving daughter-in-law “Jocelyn Harris,” Julian Morris as the questionable preacher “Paul Curtis,” Elizabeth McLaughlin as the preacher’s sultry girlfriend “Alicia,” and Emayatzy Corinealdi as Pernell’s call girl and confidante “Tessie.” The show centers on the powerful Judge Harris, a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side, who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. With no real evidence to go on, Pernell begins to rely on “visions” and “messages” he believes are being sent by God through Pernell’s ventilator-bound son. Forster, Watkins, Perlman, Brian Wilkins and Jeff King are Executive Producers, and Jillian Kugler is co-Executive Producer.

Hysteria

Hysteria takes viewers to Austin, Texas where social connection has become contagious. In the pilot, members of a girls’ competitive dance team are stricken with a strange, psycho-physiological illness that manifests itself in violent fits and spasms and then begins spreading in the community through technology. Neurologist Logan Harlen (played by Mena Suvari) returns to her hometown to investigate the cause. Fighting her own demons and the growing manipulation of a brother on death row, Logan develops an uneasy suspicion that the hysteria surrounding the girls might actually be linked to social media and her own tragic past. Hysteria is written by Shaun Cassidy, who is known for genre thrillers such as Invasion and American Gothic, and directed by Otto Bathurst, who won the BAFTA Award for his work on the critically-acclaimed U.K. mini-series Peaky Blinders. The showalso stars James McDaniel (Orange Is The New Black) as “Carl Sapsi,” Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises) as “Ray Ratajeck,” Adan Canto (X-Men: Days of Future Past) as “Matt Sanchez,” Laura San Giacomo (Saving Grace)as “Grace Pelayo” and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as “Carter Harlen.” The show is written by Cassidy, who is also Executive Producer alongside Adam Schroeder, Sharon Hall, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Bryan Zuriff, and Bathurst. In addition to Suvari, McDaniel, Stewart, Canto, San Giacomo and Knight, Hysteria also stars Ella Rae Peck and Jenessa Grant. Pilot guest stars include Jason Douglas, Heather Kafka, Asjha Cooper, and Evie Thompson. Amazon Studios is collaborating with Universal Television and Alcon Television Group on the production of Hysteria.

Really

Written, directed and starring Jay Chandrasekhar, Really is a funny, extremely, honest behind-the-curtain look at the complexities of marriage and the charged dynamics of a tight-knit group of friends. The show is about four hard-charging suburban Chicago couples trying to grasp on-to their dwindling youth. At the center are the happily but messily married couple “Jed,” played by Chandrasekhar, and “Lori,” played by Sarah Chalke. When Jed is faced with the choice of keeping his pal’s secret or destroying his friend group, he winds up digging himself into a very deep hole. Really explores marriage, friendship and the stifling peculiarities of suburban Chicago life. The pilot also stars Selma Blair, Travis Schuldt, Hayes MacArthur, Collette Wolfe, Luka Jones, Lindsay Sloane and Rob Delaney. Really comes from Main Street Films' Craig Chang and Harrison Kordestani, and Executive Producer Jamie Tarses (Happy Endings).

Red Oaks

Directed by Sundance award-winner David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express, Eastbound and Down) and produced by Academy Award winner Steven Soderbergh (Behind the Candelabra, Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven), Red Oaks stars Craig Roberts (Submarine)as “David Myers,” an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey in 1985, who is both reeling from his father’s heart attack and conflicted about what major to declare in the fall. While there, he meets a colorful cast of misfit co-workers and wealthy club members including an alluring art student named “Skye” (played by guest star Alexandra Socha) and her corporate raider father “Getty” played by Paul Reiser (Mad About You). A coming-of-age comedy set in the “go-go” 80s that is equal parts hijinks and heartfelt, Red Oaks is about enjoying a last hurrah before summer comes to an end—and the future begins. Red Oaks also stars Jennifer Grey (It’s Like, You Know) as “Judy Myers,” Richard Kind (Luck) as “Sam Myers,” Oliver Cooper (Californication)as “Wheeler,” Gage Golightly as “Karen,” and Ennis Esmer as “Nash.” Red Oaks is written by Gregory Jacobs (The Knick)and Joe Gangemi (Eliza Graves). Soderbergh, Green, Jacobs, and Gangemi are Executive Producers.

The pilots can be viewed later this month with the Amazon Instant Video app available on Fire TV, Kindle Fire tablets, Fire phone, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation, Wii, as well as hundreds of other connected devices such as smart TVs — or customers can visit Amazon.com/AIV to watch online.

Amazon’s Third Original Kids’ Series “Annedroids” Now Available on Prime Instant Video

Amazon today announced its third original kids’ series, Annedroids, is now available for unlimited streaming on Prime Instant Video at no additional cost to Prime members. Created by Emmy-nominated J.J. Johnson (Dino Dan) and Sinking Ship Entertainment, and aimed at children aged four through seven, Annedroids is a live-action adventure series about “Anne,”  a young female scientist, her human friends and their android assistants, and the amazing scientific discoveries they make while undertaking the biggest experiment of them all: growing up. The series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, the arts and math (STEAM) can inspire children to do great things.

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Annedroids stars Addison Holley (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) as “Anne,” Adrianna Di Liello (Stage Fright) as her friend “Shania,” and Jadiel Dowlin as “Nick.” The series also features vocal talent from Millie Davis (Orphan Black) as “Pal.”

Amazon recently collaborated with the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) on a series of screenings and educational activities related to its original kids’ programming. Annedroids screening events will be held on August 9 at the Bay Area Discovery MuseumBoston Children’s MuseumBrooklyn Children’s Museum, and Children’s Museum of Houston.

Watch Annedroids now.