Prime Instant Video Greenlights First-Ever Drama Pilots
Following Amazon Studios’ pilot announcement earlier this month, Amazon today announced it has given the green light for the production of its first two hour-long drama pilots: Bosch, based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch book series and written by Emmy-nominated Eric Overmyer (The Wire, Treme) and Michael Connelly, and The After, written and directed by Emmy-nominee Chris Carter (The X-Files).
Customers will be invited to watch the pilots on Amazon Instant Video at no cost and can provide feedback that will help determine which pilots should be produced as series to air exclusively on Prime Instant Video and Amazon’s LOVEFiLM in the UK in early 2014.
“We are very excited to be working with creators like Michael Connelly and Chris Carter, both epic storytellers in their own right,” said Roy Price, Director of Amazon Studios. “For the first time we are bringing Amazon customers hour-long programming and we can’t wait to hear what they think of these new stories.”
Based on Michael Connelly’s best-selling Harry Bosch series and written by Eric Overmyer and Michael Connelly, Bosch follows a relentless LAPD homicide detective as he pursues the killer of a 13-year-old boy while standing trial in federal court on accusations that he murdered a suspected serial killer in cold blood. Bosch will be played by Titus Welliver (Argo, The Good Wife) and the pilot will also star Annie Wersching, Amy Price-Francis and Jamie Hector. Henrik Bastin of Fabrik Entertainment (The Killing) is producing and Jim McKay will direct.
“Sharing this story with television audiences is very exciting, something that’s been twenty years in the making,” said author Michael Connelly. “It is amazing to have it come together with the synergy of Amazon—the world’s largest bookstore—along with accomplished creator and showrunner, Eric Overmyer, and Fabrik, a production company dedicated to loyalty to the books. Harry Bosch can be in no better hands.”
Michael Connelly Answered A Few Questions For Us About Bosch
Can you tell us what is different from the books in this TV show?
In making the shift from page to screen (whatever screen that may be) we brought in a fair amount of changes to the world of Harry Bosch. First of all we wanted the story to be contemporary – L.A. right now – and yet we had stories going back twenty years about a character who ages in real time. We also had a character who had different romantic relationships, detective partners and supervisors along those twenty years, as well as a daughter who appears at some point. We also had a military history that would only work in L.A. right now if Harry was over 60 years old. So we picked and chose from all of those aspects from the books while creating a few new things as well. We built the first story/season from two of the books – City of Bones and The Concrete Blonde – as well as a short story called Cielo Azul.
The basic status of Harry in what we are filming is that he is 47 years old and a veteran of the first Gulf War in 1991, where he was part of a Special Forces team that cleared tunnels. He has now been a police officer for twenty years with a one year exception when he re-upped with the Army after 9/11, as many LAPD officers did. He came back to the force after serving in Afghanistan and again encountering tunnel warfare.
In Bosch, Harry is working at Hollywood Division on the homicide squad. His supervisor is Lt. Billets though Lt. Pounds is present in the story. His partner is Jerry Edgar and Deputy Chief Irvin Irving is an ominous presence in the story as well.
How are you involved?
My involvement in the pilot has been full time and I have approved everything we are doing every step of the way, including the casting of Titus Welliver as Harry Bosch. I think he is going to be perfect as he brings this character to life on screen. The pilot is being produced by Fabrik Entertainment, makers of previous shows such as The Killing and Burn Notice. The show runner is Eric Overmyer, who has worked on shows ranging from Homicide: Life on the Streets to The Wire and Treme.
I am very excited about the prospects of this show. Harry Bosch is not right for network TV and Amazon Studios reached out to me because they understood Harry Bosch and wanted to help me realize the character in this different dimension. We have a tight script, a great cast and production team, and I am very confident we are making something all Harry Bosch fans (including myself!) will embrace.
How does this work with Amazon?
We are producing the show for Amazon Studios which means that when it is released it will be streamed off Amazon’s instant video service. This means you can watch it on your computer or digital device as well as on your television if you have it set up with an Amazon connection. Sometime early next year – probably in March – this pilot will be available for free viewing and comment. However, like HBO or Netflix or any cable provider, Amazon streaming is a subscription service provided under Amazon Prime. If Bosch goes to series a membership in Amazon Prime will be needed to watch it at some point.
Watch Michael’s appearance on CBS This Morning in December 2013.