‘This Close’ Renewed For Season 2 On Sundance Now


Sundance Now has greenlighted a second season of This Close, its relationship dramedy created, written by and starring Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman. Production on the eight-episode season for AMC Networks’ premium SVOD serivce will begin this summer in Los Angeles.
This Close, which was Sundance Now’s first straight-to-series order, explores the relationship between twentysomething best friends Kate (Stern) and Michael (Feldman) as they navigate love, loss, careers…

U.S. SVOD Service Sundance Now Picks Up Rachel Griffiths-Fronted Australian Drama ‘Dead Lucky’


SVOD service Sundance Now has picked up Australian drama Dead Lucky starring Six Feet Under and Brothers & Sisters star Rachel Griffiths from distributor DRG.
The AMC Networks-backed streaming service will air the four-part drama in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland and German speaking territories in Europe. The series is complex thriller about two feuding detectives hunting a cop killer who is leaving a trail of broken lives across Sydney. Grace and Crouching Tiger, Hidden…

Why ‘This Close’ Creators Were ‘Totally Fine’ That Our Interview Was a Little Awkward


“This Close” is groundbreaking in many way and not just because it was the first dramedy to go straight-to-series from Sundance Now, but also because it was created, written and stars Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman — who are both deaf.

About halfway into TheWrap‘s recent interview with the show creators, this reporter realized she was doing something really weird: talking with her hands way more than usual. I think this was a subconscious attempt to match how Stern and Feldman were speaking to me — which was through an interpreter who was relaying everything the deaf showrunners were saying using American Sign Language.

As soon as I noticed what I was doing, I apologized, completely mortified. I admitted I didn’t know any people who were deaf and was feeling a little uncomfortable about speaking with them before the interview. Thankfully, Stern and Feldman were not offended. In fact, they appreciated my honesty.

Also Read: Sundance, SXSW Comedy ‘Never Goin’ Back’ Sells to A24

“Actually I prefer when somebody says to me, ‘I don’t even know what to say. Like I’m not sure what to do,’ rather than somebody pretending that they know what they’re doing is right,” Feldman told TheWrap. “Like if you’re not comfortable that’s totally fine. If you are comfortable with being uncomfortable, it will go much better than pretending ‘Everything is fine! Everything is completely normal!’ … I don’t know lots of things, and saying it is way better than acting like, ‘Oh, I got it. I know it,’” Feldman said.

Stern added simply, “If you’re not sure what to call somebody, just ask them.”

Also Read: Sundance Award-Winning Doc ‘Shirkers’ Lands at Netflix

“This Close” is both the streaming service’s first ever straight-to-series order and the first ever series to be created, written and star deaf people. But while the show obviously addresses the deaf factor, it isn’t something that defines the characters or carries the plot.

Based on several shorts featured at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the six-episode Season 1 follows twenty-something year-old best friends living in Los Angeles, Kate (Stern) and Michael (Feldman), as they try to balance their personal and professional lives. Kate is newly engaged and struggles to grow at work, while Michael battles self-destructive writer’s block after having his heart broken. As they each tackle their own issues, their friendship is put to the test.

When the showrunners were asked if they believe the reason a series like this has never been attempted before is because people outside the deaf community might not feel comfortable writing from that perspective, Stern said she’s familiar with the argument, but doesn’t think it’s a good excuse.

Also Read: ‘Sorry to Bother You’ Trailer Shows Lakeith Stanfield as Un-Woke Telemarketer (Video)

“People will say they feel like it’s really hard to write the experience for a deaf character when they’re not deaf themselves,” Stern said. “And it’s only hard if you think that that person lives in a kind of life that’s completely different than yours … But I think the feedback that we’ve received about the show is very interesting because what we’ll get is like, ‘This story isn’t new.’ And that’s kind of the point. We wanted to tell a story that is familiar because I think that every human experience is ultimately the same. Like we all go through the same things. We mess up. We get up in the morning. We make stupid mistakes. We fall in love.”

“But for some reason the fact that we’re deaf causes people to think we don’t have the same experiences because we’re deaf,” Feldman interjected. “And so that’s why we picked a story line that is very familiar, so people can go, ‘Wait, I’ve been through that before. That’s actually happened to me. Oh and it’s happened to deaf people too!”

Feldman and Stern — who are BFFs in real life — are very excited to continue with the series, should it be picked up for a sophomore installment, and have a six season plan. “We actually know how it ends,” Feldman said, with a laugh.

Also Read: SundanceTV Teams With Blumhouse Television on New True Crime Documentary Series

The Season 1 finale of “This Close”  is available for streaming Thursday on Sundance Now.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Wind River’ Goes From the Snow in Sundance to the Beach at Cannes

Sundance Scene and Heard: Matt Damon, Kate Beckinsale, Gabrielle Union and Snow (Photos)

Amazon Acquires Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon Sundance Drama ‘Complete Unknown’

Sundance Industry Panel: Now It’s Easy to Make Your Film, Hard to Get People to See It (Video)

SundanceTV Teams With Blumhouse Television on New True Crime Documentary Series


SundanceTV and its streaming service Sundance Now have greenlit Blumhouse Television’s true crime documentary series “No One Saw a Thing.”

Israeli filmmaker Avi Belkin will direct and executive produce the six-episode show. Alexandra Shiva, Jason Blum (pictured above), Jeremy Gold, and Marci Wiseman are also set executive produce; Mary Lisio is co-executive producer.

“No One Saw a Thing” examines an unsolved and mysterious death in the American Heartland and the corrosive effects of vigilantism in small town America, per Sundance. The case garnered international attention in the early 1980s after a resident was shot dead in front of almost 60 townspeople. These witnesses deny having seen anything, to this very day.

Also Read: Facebook Orders New Series ‘Sacred Lies’ From Blumhouse, ‘True Blood’ Team

Production is currently underway and the show will launch on SundanceTV and Sundance Now in 2019.

“No One Saw a Thing” is the next step in SundanceTV shoring up its true crime slate. The AMC-owned cable channel recently ordered true crime docuseries “The Road to Jonestown,” which hails in part from executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio.

“Produced under the auspices of Blumhouse Television, with prestigious creative talent on board and a compelling mystery at its core, ‘No One Saw a Thing’ is the perfect project for SundanceTV’s and Sundance Now’s discerning audience,” said Jan Diedrichsen, general manager, SundanceTV and Sundance Now. “We have a robust fan base who revel in evocative storytelling, and this exploration will certainly satisfy their appetite for a thought-provoking — and unsolved — true crime story. What’s more, this project underscores SundanceTV’s commitment to working with top tier talent to explore infamous crimes and the impact of these stories on popular culture.”

Also Read: AMC Networks to Acquire Robert Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment

“Stranger than fiction, ‘No One Saw a Thing’ is one of those unbelievable stories that requires the passion of a storyteller like Avi Belkin who will stop at nothing to get to the truth. We brought Alexandra Shiva on board to help shepherd the project because of our successful history together,” said Jeremy Gold, co-president Blumhouse Television.

“With its avid audience of fans who enjoy creative and smart entertainment, SundanceTV is the perfect platform. Fans will also have an opportunity to share their own conspiracy theories over social media,” added Marci Wiseman, co-president Blumhouse Television.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Liar’ Renewed for Season 2 at SundanceTV

David Madden Named President of Original Programming, AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios

‘Walking Dead’ Fans React to Carl’s Death: ‘Rip My Heart Out AMC!’

Sundance Now Announces Winter Slate: ‘Cold Blooded’, ‘Innocent’ Among Shows – TCA


Sundance Now announced its 2018 programming slate at TCA today. Winter programming of the AMC Network’s premium streaming service includes comedies, dramas and true crime stories.
Sundance Now’s 2018 winter programming slate include:
“Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders”
Premiering January 18
Following its successful run on SundanceTV, Sundance Now will premiere “Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders” from Academy® Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger. The…