Amazon has issued series orders for three new children’s programs as well as two new drama pilots and a one off Shaun the Sheep special for its growing lineup of original programming.
Dino Dana, created by J.J. Johnson (Dino Dan, Annedroids), is a follow up to the 2015 program Dino Dan and takes viewers to “a whole new level of dinosaur encounters,” according to Amazon. “The series will feature 16 new prehistoric creatures, an adopted baby dino and, for the first time, two sisters. After a chance encounter with Trek and his Dino Field Guide, Dana, a ‘paleontologist in training,’ and her teenage sister Emily, begin to see dinosaurs all around them, leading to plenty of action and adventure.” The series is intended for preschool-age children.
The second series is The Kicks, a live-action show based on a book series of the same name by athlete and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan. Starring Sixx Orange, E’myri Crutchfield (Vacation), Gabe Eggerling (The Dreamsters: Welcome to the Dreamery, Jake and the Never Land Pirates), Sophia Mitri Schloss (The Librarians, Grimm), Monica Lacy (The Cell, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and Tim Martin Gleason (Drop Dead Diva, New Girl), the series follows Devin Burke, who “was the star player on her soccer team back home until her family moved to California midway through the school year. Now, Devin has to rise to the challenge after discovering that her new school team has been on a losing streak over the last few months and is badly in need of a leader to rally the team together.” The Kicks is intended for children between the ages of six and 11.
The third of the new children’s shows is Lost in Oz, an animated series set in the world of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books and their motion picture adaptation The Wizard of Oz. Developed by Mark Warshaw (Smallville, Heroes), Darin Mark (Dirty Little Secret), Jared Mark (Elevated, Pete Smalls is Dead) and Abram Makowka (Tug, TripTank), the series is described as a modern reimagining of the beloved fantasy world “set in a modern, metropolitan Emerald City. Stranded in this spectacular world, 12-year-old Dorothy Gale befriends West, a young, street-smart witch grappling with dark temptations, and Ojo, a giant munchkin. With Dorothy’s dog Toto, this unlikely crew embarks on an epic journey, seeking out the magic Dorothy needs to get back to Kansas. The challenge for Dorothy, and everyone else in this world, is that Oz is facing the greatest magic crisis in eons.” Lost in Oz is intended for children between the ages of six and 11.
The previously mentioned Shaun the Sheep special is titled Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Lllamas and is directed by Jay Grace (Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromitt: The Curse of the Were Rabbit) from a script by Lee Pressman (Peter Rabbit, Thomas & Friends: Whale of a Tale and Other Sodor Adventures), Primetime Emmy Award nominee Richard Starzak (Shaun the Sheep Movie, Rex the Runt) and Nick Vincent Murphy (Moone Boy, Hideaways). In the special, which will run for 30 minutes, “the Farmer and Bitzer go to a Country Fair and Shaun accompanies them intent on causing mischief. Shaun spies an auction of three exotic and very crafty Llamas and cleverly gets the unwitting Farmer to buy them. At first everything’s great fun, but soon their new Llama roommates get a bit too comfortable in their new home. When things spiral out of control, Shaun is forced to take action to oust the intruders and save the farm.”
“We’re excited to offer our Prime members a beautifully reimagined world in our first original kids 6-to-11 animated series and bring to the screen Alex Morgan’s successful book series with an inspirational role model at the core,” said Tara Sorensen, Amazon Studio’s Head of Kids Programming. “Aardman and Sinking Ship are award-winning producers and we’re excited to debut Dino Dana and Shaun the Sheep on Prime Video.”
Dino Dana, The Kicks and Lost in Oz will all be available exclusively for Amazon Prime Members in 2016, while Shaun the Sheep: The Farmer’s Llamas will arrive quite soon, launching this Friday, November 13, 2015.
Meanwhile, Deadline is reporting that Amazon has also ordered two new drama pilots, presumably for its fall 2016 season. The Last Tycoon is a drama based on The Love of the Last Tycoon, an unfinished novel by The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald, who passed away before its completion. The uncompleted novel was posthumously published in 1941. The series would be a period piece set in the 1930s and follow a man who quickly climbs the ranks at a movie studio and comes head to head with his colleagues as a result. The series is written by Academy Award nominee Billy Ray (Captain Philips, State of Play), who will also direct the pilot.
The other pilot is The Interestings, based on the 2013 Meg Wolitzer novel of the same name. Written by Lyn Greene (Masters of Sex, Boss) and Richard Levine (Nip/Tuck, JAG), the series would depict the lives of a group of friends over thirty years as they struggle with adulthood and the challenges that come with it.