In the ultra-competitive 2017 TV landscape, having a show written by George Saunders and starring Glenn Close somehow doesn’t get an immediate pickup. Per Deadline, Amazon has passed on all three of the pilots included in its fall 2017 pilot season, including Sea Oak, which starred Close as an undead woman, Love You More, which starred downtown New York comedian Bridget Everett, and The Climb, about an office assistant who dreams of internet fame. While the quality of those pilots is up for debate, these decisions likely stem in part from big changes at Amazon Studios itself, as former top executives Roy Price and Joe Lewis, who green-lit this slate of pilots, both left the company earlier this October (Price did so after allegations of sexual harassment). Moreover, Amazon seems to be heading in a new direction with its programming, looking for Game of Thrones–size hits, and recently spending big to acquire the rights to The Lord of the Rings. None of the pilots in contention this fall were of the same epic scale. To quote Cate Blanchett, the world is changed. I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I sense it in the inner workings of streaming TV studios.
Glenn Close… but no cigar. Photo: Patrick Harbron/Amazon Video