Amazon's New Pilots For 2015 Might Give Netflix a Run For Their Money

Could it be that Amazon's streaming service, Amazon Instant Video, is finally turning into real competition for streaming video giant Netflix? We already seemed to get slight hint of that thanks to the genius of their recently debuted show Transparent — but now, with 2015 just on the horizon, it's beginning to become all the more apparent. According to EW, Amazon Instant Video has just announced their 7 new pilots for 2015, which they hope to debut in series form come next year.

As always, the company will debut each pilot for free on their site, allowing viewers to watch the episodes and rate them — then, at the end of this so-called "trial" period, Amazon will make their final decision about which shows to pick up for next year.

Whereas Netflix has hits like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards as originals on their site, Amazon has yet to find that one big hit to put them on the map: Transparent, at the moment, seems a likely contender for that role thanks to its strong writing and critical success, and it would be a shame if the Jeffrey Tambor-starring dramedy didn't at least get some attention come awards season. Netflix, though, still pretty much owns the streaming video market — but it's highly possible that could change with one of these new shows Amazon plans on rolling out. Not only do they sound intriguing, (and with big names attached!) but they actually sound like something worth getting a subscription to Amazon Instant Video just to watch.

So, what are the contenders?

Cocked

Starring True Blood's Sam Trammell, Cocked follows a man who returns to his childhood home and estranged family in rural Virginia, after a 20-year absence. Expect lots of raw, dramatic, realistic family moments — it's described as a dark comedy, after all.

Mad Dogs

This is a reimagining of an already-acclaimed UK series of the same name, so there's some precedent for its success. Starring Billy Zane, Weeds star Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli, and more, the series will follow a group of old friends who reconnect after years, only to become entangled in a dark situation that propels this dark comedy into a psychological thriller.

Down Dog

It was just a matter of time before someone noticed the fact that Los Angeles has literally turned into a city consisting of more juice bars and yoga studios than actual residents. Down Dog follows this so-called "yoga culture" in LA, and stars Josh Casaubon as a yoga teacher whose life is turned upside down when he breaks up with his girlfriend (portrayed by Paget Brewster).

Salem Rogers

Leslie Bibb and Rachel Dratch in a television show together? No more needs to be said, because that is enough to sell me. But, in an effort to be thorough anyway: The plot follows Bibb as a former party-girl type supermodel who, after a stint in rehab, returns to her old life and attempts to restore her relationship with her former assistant, portrayed by Dratch.

The Man In the High Castle

As far as World War II movies and television shows go, this one is without a doubt one of the most unique: The Man In the High Castle actually promises to follow a timeline set as if the Allied Powers had lost World War II, and is set 20 years afterwards with Japan and Germany in full power of the world. It's produced by Ridley Scott and based on a award-winning novel by Philip K. Dick, so there's no doubt this one is going to be a hit.

The New Yorker Presents

This series promises to actually be documentary-style, and will focus on being a sort of visual representation of the magazine, The New Yorker. Big names in NYC like Alan Cumming and Marina Abramovic are involved, as well as Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney.

Point of Honor

This series was created by Carlton Cuse, who was a longtime writer on ABC's Lost — so, that alone should tell you that this show will be intense. It's described, according to EW , as a civil war drama, following True Blood's Nathan Parsons as a man attempting to free captive slaves while fighting for the Confederate South.