Amazon Reveals When Its ‘Lord of The Rings’ TV Series Takes Place

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Last month, Amazon’s Prime Video started teasing fans by posting a blank map of Middle-earth via its upcoming “Lord of the Rings” TV series’ brand new Twitter account.

On Thursday, that map — which has slowly been populated with more and more locations and information over the past few weeks — confirmed when Prime Video’s small-screen adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s work takes place: the Second Age.

“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie. #LOTRonPrime,” the account tweeted this morning, before sending out one tweet to rule them all: a link to a new version of the map, accompanied by this simple message, “Welcome to the Second Age.”

We promise you now if you scour this iteration of Middle-earth, you will see it is in fact the Second Age we’re working with. And if you are one of the fans who was hoping the series would focus on a young Aragorn — played by Viggo Mortensen in the Peter Jackson films — our condolences.

Details about Amazon’s “LOTR” series — which was first announced in November 2017 and is being developed by “Star Trek 4” duo JD Payne and Patrick McKay — are still scarce, with this being the first major revelation fans have received.

Previously, we had known the show was set Middle-earth and will explore stories that precede the events of Tolkein’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” — we just didn’t know by how much it would precede them.

Also Read: ‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series: Explore Amazon’s Map of Middle-Earth Here

Amazon Studios has a multi-season commitment for the series, and the deal also includes a potential spinoff series.

The new “LOTR” series will be produced in cooperation with the Tolkein Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

See the tweet below and explore the map here.

Welcome to the Second Age: https://t.co/Tamd0oRgTw

— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) March 7, 2019

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Josh Radnor Joins Jordan Peele’s Amazon Series ‘The Hunt’

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Josh Radnor has joined Jordan Peele’s upcoming Amazon series “The Hunt,” TheWrap has learned.

The “How I Met Your Mother” alum has been cast opposite Al Pacino, Logan Lerman and Jerrika Hinton on the Prime Video Nazi-hunting drama.

Created by David Weil, “The Hunt” follows a diverse band of Nazi Hunters living in 1977 New York City. The Hunters, as they’re known, have discovered that hundreds of high-ranking Nazi officials are living among us and conspiring to create a Fourth Reich in the US. The eclectic team of Hunters will set out on a bloody quest to bring the Nazis to justice and thwart their new genocidal plans.

Radnor will play Lonny Flash, a movie star who is secretly a member of Meyer’s (Pacino) organization, The Hunters

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Produced by Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Sonar Entertainment, “The Hunt” also stars Lena Olin, Carol Kane, Saul Rubinek, Tiffany Boone, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Greg Austin and Dylan Baker.

Weil (“Moonfall”) serves as writer, executive producer, and co-showrunner alongside Nikki Toscano. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon will direct the pilot and also executive produce.

Additional executive producers include Win Rosenfeld (“Dark Net”) from Monkeypaw Productions; Nelson McCormick (“Prison Break”); Tom Lesinski (“Mr. Mercedes”) and Jenna Santoianni (“Mr. Mercedes”) from Sonar Entertainment.

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‘The Lord of the Rings’ TV Series: Explore Amazon’s Map of Middle-earth Here

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Amazon has released one map to rule them all.

The official Twitter account for Prime Video’s upcoming “The Lord of the Rings” TV series shared a link to a map of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional Middle-earth on Friday morning.

And seeing as this map appears to tease what the world in Amazon’s small-screen adaptation of the franchise looks like, it’s definitely giving “LOTR” fans enough material to obsess over all weekend long.

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Details about Amazon’s “LOTR” series — which first announced in November 2017 and is being developed by “Star Trek 4” duo JD Payne and Patrick McKay  — are still scarce. But we do know the show is set in Middle-earth and will explore stories that precede the events of Tolkein’s “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

Amazon Studios has a multi-season commitment for the series, and the deal also includes a potential spin-off series. The new “LOTR” series will be produced in cooperation with the Tolkein Estate and Trust, HarperCollins and New Line Cinema, a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment.

And though we were hoping to have some new info for you after the streamer took the stage at the Television Critics Association press tour earlier this week, Amazon Studios head Jen Salke had no updates to report on the project — including a timetable for production/launch.

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But she did announce the show’s official social media handles — so you may wanna keep your eye on this Twitter account from now on.

See the first three tweets from Prime Video’s “LOTR” series’ official account below and check out their map of Middle-earth here.

“I wisely started with a map” — J.R.R. Tolkien

— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) February 13, 2019

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky, pic.twitter.com/unJj1Bpde1

— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) February 15, 2019

????️ ???? Explore the map: https://t.co/z9WOqI9Seo

— The Lord of the Rings on Prime (@LOTRonPrime) February 15, 2019

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‘Transparent’ Creator Jill Soloway Explains Why They’re Ending Series With a Musical Movie

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As “Transparent” fans learned last fall, the Amazon Prime Video series will end its upcoming fifth and final season not with a bang, but with a musical. On Wednesday, creator Jill Soloway — who prefers to be referenced with gender-neutral pronouns — broke down their decision to wrap the comedy on a high (and probably some low) notes.

When asked by a reporter during the Television Critics Association press tour why the creative team ultimately chose to end “Transparent” with a musical and how it will address the exit of former series regular Jeffrey Tambor (who played Maura), Soloway said it’s “all one big answer.”

“Which is, you know, right as my parent came out, the very first instinct I had before I wrote ‘Transparent’ was that my sister Faith and I were going to make a documentary musical,” Soloway said, before turning to Amazon Studios Head, Jen Salke — who was leading the panel — to add, “I never told you that.”

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“My sister Faith is an amazing musician and has been writing musicals for years, and as a family we were always doing musicals,” Soloway continued. “So that was kind of the first impulse was to use song. And then ‘Transparent’ came about and it was such a beautiful experience and in many ways, some people have said that ‘Transparent’ has always been a show that wanted to be a musical ’cause there’s these musical numbers and always these scenes about Maura, who wanted the kids to come see her sing, and Shelly singing on a boat.”

“And when everything went down last year and we lost Jeffrey Tambor, and we went through so much as a family, that felt like this very emotional — there are no words, there is no way to really kind of just go back to a plain old Season 5 and try to just repair by coming back,” they added.

The upcoming fifth season, which has no premiere date yet but is expected this fall, will be the first since Tambor was fired by the studio last February.

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In November 2017, Tambor was accused of harassing two trans women on the “Transparent” set, including co-star Trace Lysette and the actor’s personal assistant Van Jones. A third woman unrelated to the production, makeup artist Tamara Delbridge, later came forward with her own accusation.

As TheWrap previously reported, Soloway had considered using Tambor in the season in a flashback-only role as his pre-transition character Mort Pfefferman, but that idea was nixed.

Soloway says that Salke’s hire as the new head of the studios last year helped to make the musical a reality.

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“Getting to know Jen and Jen saying, ‘What would be your dream?’ She said, ‘I wanted something big.’ And I said, ‘What do you think about a musical movie?’ And she was like, ‘Great!’” Soloway said. “And we kind of dared ourselves to follow through and come through and take all of Faith’s songs that she had been writing. Faith was already starting to put songs together for a possible ‘Transparent’ musical five years down the road on Broadway. So we took the songs, we took the storyline and just finished shooting on Friday.”

Soloway added: “And I’m in such a good mood because we were able to do something I feel like is going to astonish and reward fans, and was a way to take music and transform the family to be able to come together and have that kind of like feeling of, in some ways, transition. That the show isn’t necessarily ending, it’s transitioning into a musical.”

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Amazon Greenlights Japanese Adaptation of ‘The Bachelorette’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Amazon is giving Japan an early Valentine’s Day gift in the form of a series order for a local adaptation of “The Bachelorette.”

Prime Video has greenlit a Japanese version of the popular ABC reality dating series, along with more than 20 other new and returning Prime original series, set to go into production in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, India, Japan and Mexico, the streamer announced during the Television Critics Association press tour Wednesday.

Here’s the official description for the upcoming Japan-based version of the long-running American series: “‘The Bachelorette’ is a local version of the American reality dating competition format that has aired continuously for 14 seasons in the US since 2003, when it was created as a spinoff of The Bachelor. In ‘The Bachelorette,’ gender roles are reversed and women are put in the driver’s seat when a single Bachelorette embarks on a journey to find her future husband from a pool of eligible male contestants.”

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Per Amazon, “many of the Prime original series will be available to stream for a global audience on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.”

“We’re delighted to announce the commissioning of more than twenty new and returning series, to be produced in seven countries across three continents around the world. We know that customers watching Prime Video everywhere want to see authentic stories, set in their own countries, and to invest in characters that can reflect their own experiences and diversity,” Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, said. “We’re excited and committed to amplifying the voices of storytellers from all over the world and to bring their visions to life for our viewers worldwide.”

“We know our worldwide audience are thirsty for local shows from the best local voices, and we’ve already seen a great customer reaction from Prime Original international series such as the UK’s The Grand Tour and All or Nothing: Manchester City, Germany’s You Are Wanted, India’s Breathe and Mirzapur, Mexico’s Un extraño enemigo and LOL: Last One Laughing and Japan’s Hitoshi Matsumoto Presents Documental,” James Farrell, Head of International Originals, added. “As well as delighting local audiences, we’re excited to showcase the work of these talented local writers, directors, producers and actors to be enjoyed by an international audience of more than 100 million Prime members worldwide.”

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See the descriptions for the other new and returning Prime Video original series below.

NEW SERIES

The Power – UK
The contemporary global ten-part thriller The Power is written and created by award-winning British author Naomi Alderman, and based on Alderman’s international best-selling and award winning novel. The Power will be produced by Sister Pictures and is Executive Produced by Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch, The Split, Utopia), Naomi de Pear (The Bisexual, Flowers), Naomi Alderman and Reed Morano (The Handmaid’s Tale), who will also direct. The series is produced by Tim Bricknell (Trust, Taboo) and will be shot on location around the world. The Power is the latest UK Prime Original drama series to go into production, and will premiere on Amazon Prime Video worldwide in over 200 countries and territories.

La Templanza – Spain
The new Spanish Prime Original drama La Templanza is a dramatic love story set in the 1860’s spanning Mexico, Cuba London and Spain. The series is based on the eponymous bestselling novel by María Dueñas produced by Atresmedia Studios. La Templanza will go into production in 2019, before being released on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

El Cid – Spain
Created and produced by Zebra Producciones and written by Luis Arranz and Adolfo Martinez, the new Spanish Prime Original series, El Cid, retells from a contemporary perspective the story of the most famous Spaniard in history, a man trapped between two worlds and two cultures. A nobleman, a hero, a mercenary, a vassal, but also a man who could have been king. El Cid was centuries ahead of his time and became transcended by his own legend. Production will start in 2019 leading to a release in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

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Untitled drama series – Italy
Written by celebrated Italian writers Nicola Guaglianone and Menotti, the first ever Italian Prime Original drama series is a crime drama set in Milan in the late eighties which tells the story of a shy, insecure teenager who becomes the youngest member of the mafia, not for money, ambition or the desire of power, but to win the love of her father. Produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani’s Wildside for Amazon Studios, the show will begin filming in 2019 before launching exclusively on Prime Video in over 200 countries and territories around the world.

Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo – Germany
A new German Prime Original series, Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo, is based on the controversial 1978 autobiographical book of the same name [We Children of Bahnhof Zoo]. Adapted for television under head writer Annette Hess (Weissensee, Ku’damm 56/59) and her writers room, this new series tells the story of Christiane F. and her dysfunctional friends, who as teenagers descend into the gritty drug scene of 1970’s West-Berlin. Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo is a modern re-telling of a shocking but compelling story. Produced by Oliver Berben (The Verdict, Shades of Guilt I + II, The Typist, Perfume, Shadowhunters) and Sophie von Uslar (NSU – German History X, Tannbach – Line of Separation) for Constantin Television, the series will go into production in 2019 before being released on Prime Video in Germany. Philipp Kadelbach (Perfume, Generation War, SS-GB) will be directing.

Bandish Bandits – India
A new Indian Prime Original, Bandish Bandits is a romantic musical created by Still and Still Media Collective. Directed by Anand Tiwari and written by Amritpal Singh Bindra, Bandish Bandits is a young, dynamic love story between Radhe, a skilled Indian classical singer shackled by centuries of tradition and Tamanna, a free-spirited pop star who makes up for her mediocre talent with her skills as a seasoned performer. Despite coming from very different worlds, the two set out together on a journey of self-discovery to see if opposites, though they might attract, can also adapt and go the long haul. Bandish Bandits will launch exclusively on Amazon Prime Video in 2019 for customers in India and across 200 countries and territories.

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The Last Hour – India
Created and directed by Amit Kumar (Monsoon Shootout), with Oscar-winning director Asif Kapadia (Amy) as Executive Producer, the new Indian Prime Original, The Last Hour is a crime thriller with a supernatural twist set in a small picturesque hill station in the Himalayas. The Last Hour will go into production in January 2019 before being released on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Untitled drama thriller series – India
Created by Sudip Sharma (writer of NH 10 & Udta Punjab) and produced by Clean Slate Films, this new Indian Prime Original series is an investigative thriller that also acts as a scathing commentary of modern day Indian society and politics. The series will go into production in February 2019 before being released on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Untitled drama series – India
A new Indian Prime Original series, this youth-focused political drama from writer/producer/director Ali Abbas Zafar (Sultan & Tiger Zinda Hai) explores the dark corners of Indian politics. Where powerful politicians, and those who aspire to be, sow chaos and manipulate others to control the country, ruthless pragmatism contrasts with the frustrations and aspirations of contemporary India and the ideals of the country’s youth. The series will go into production in March 2019 and will be released on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

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Untitled Reality Series – India
Produced by OML, the reality series is a comedy talk-show hybrid where celebrities try their hand at stand-up comedy for the first time. The show is created and hosted by comedian Sapan Verma, member of East India Comedy (EIC). Each episode will bring together a renowned stand-up comedian and a famous celebrity as they explore the celebrity’s life, discuss moments they found funny while the comedian guides the celebrity to write a comedy set for the first time. Each episode will have Sapan, the guest comedian and the celebrity performing in front of a live audience at a local comedy club.

Comicstaan (Tamil) – India
Created and produced by OML (Comicstaan), Comicstaan (Tamil) is a regional language spinoff from Amazon Prime Video’s highly successful Prime Original Series – Comicstaan. Comicstaan (Tamil) is the search for the next big Tamil stand-up comedian, where 6 contestants compete every week in different genres of comedy, judged by an audience and a panel of judges. The contestants are mentored in different genres of comedy by veteran Tamil comedians. In every episode, the contestants, with the help of the mentor, prepare a set and perform in front of a live audience. The finale sees the judges and mentors performing live for the audiences.

El Presidente – Mexico
Produced by Oscar‐winning director Pablo Larrain’s production company Fabula (Jackie, A Fantastic Woman) and Gaumont (Narcos), El Presidente, a new Mexican Prime Original series, is a true crime series inspired by the real-life characters and events behind the 2015 “FIFA Gate” corruption scandal. The series explores the scandal from the angle of a small‐time Chilean football club president who rises from obscurity to become a key player in a $150MM bribery conspiracy. El Presidente will go into production next year before launching exclusively on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories.

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Untitled sci-fi/horror comedy – Mexico
This exciting new series takes viewers through a rollercoaster horror story with high doses of suspense and dark humor throughout an apocalyptic battle of epic proportions. With production set for 2019 from Dynamo (Narcos, El Chapo) and Red Creek Productions (Sins of My Father), the new Mexican Prime Original will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories.

El Juego de las Llaves – Mexico
The new Mexican Prime Original, El Juego de las Llaves, is a comedy about long-term monogamy, self-realization and desire, set in modern day Mexico City. The series follows four long-lasting couples who are friends that one day decide to swing. In the comedic aftermath, each character must face the impact of the decision they’ve made on their relationship and personal outlook on sexuality. El Juego de las Llaves will premiere exclusively on Prime Video in Mexico and more than 200 countries and territories, excluding the US.

Untitled Political Thriller Series – Mexico
In this upcoming Mexican Prime Original series co-produced with Televisa , Mexico City plays the backdrop to an intense and intertwining story comprised of politicians, assassins, government spies and drug cartels all clashing in a struggle to seize control of leadership of both Mexico’s government and its underworld. The series is currently in production and will launch exclusively in 2019 on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories.

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Como Sobrevivir Soltero – Mexico
A new Mexican Prime Original series produced by Campanario, Addiction House and Sony Pictures, Como Sobevivir Soltero (How to Survive Being Single) is a one-hour dramedy series is a fictionalized take on the life of Mexican actor Sebastian Zurita and a group of his millennial friends who are all unlucky in love. Rich with dramatic comedy, this Spanish language series set in Mexico City explores the highs and lows of what it’s like to be single and searching for love in a macho Mexican culture that is rapidly evolving. The series enters the world of Sebastian, an actor whose life seems perfect until one day he discovers his fiancé is cheating on him. Hitting bottom, Sebastian is reunited with his single friends, and their comedic journey ensues as they try to navigate today’s dating market – dictated by apps and algorithms-. Como Sobrevivir Soltero begins production in 2019 and will premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Untitled Social Issue Series – Japan
An unscripted Prime Original produced by VICE MEDIA JAPAN, this new social issue series will be the very first original content collaboration between the global youth media company and Amazon Prime Video. Tackling various topics through VICE’s authentic and alternative lens, in-depth documentaries will explore socially relevant issues, with each feature followed by spirited panel discussions headlined by popular entertainers and diverse panels of guest commentators.

RETURNING SERIES

Mirzapur Season Two – India
Mirzapur, which premiered worldwide on November 16, 2018, has been greenlit for a second season. This riveting drama series tells the journey of two brothers lured by the idea of power only to be consumed by it. Mirzapur is an amped-up portrayal of India’s heartland and youth — a world replete with drugs, guns, and lawlessness, where caste, power, egos and tempers intersect and violence is the only way of life. Season two, produced by the makers of the International Emmy-nominated series Inside Edge, created by Puneet Krishna and directed by Gurmmeet Singh will depict the story of this violent world which, when coupled with greed for power, changes people and asks for sacrifices. The show will go into production in 2019 before being released on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

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HITOSHI MATSUMOTO Presents Documental Season Seven – Japan
The wildly popular Japanese Prime Original series will return for a seventh season in 2019. Created and hosted by iconic comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto, Documental is a variety show where 10 idiosyncratic entertainers bet money and their comic pride in an anything-goes, “battle of laughter behind closed doors” for a chance to win a prize of 10 million Japanese Yen. The title “Documental” is a neologism created by Hitoshi Matsumoto from “documentary” and “mental.” The rules are simple: 10 participants bet one million Japanese Yen to enter a room together for six hours. Any person who laughs is immediately evicted, so the challenge is to make others laugh without laughing themselves.

LOL: Last One Laughing Season Two – Mexico
Based on Japan’s immensely popular format from HITOSHI MATSUMOTO Presents Documental, and originally developed by Hitoshi Matsumoto, LOL: Last One Laughing season one premiered December 14 exclusively on Prime Video in more than 200 countries and territories. Hosted by actor, writer, director and mega-star comedian, Eugenio Derbez (Overboard, How to be a Latin Lover), LOL features ten renowned comedians in a no-holds-barred “battle of laughter behind closed doors” where the aim is to make each other laugh. The last person who manages to keep a straight face wins a cash prize of one million pesos. LOL is produced by Derbez’ 3Pas Studios and Endemol Shine. Production on season two of the series will begin in 2019.

Diablo Guardian Season Two – Mexico
Adapted from Xavier Velasco’s award-winning novel of the same name, Diablo Guardian will return for season two with Paulina Gaitan (Narcos), Andrés Almeida (Y Tu Mamá También) and award-winning actor Adrián Ladrón (La 4ª Compañía). In its first season, Diablo Guardian follows the troubling story of Violetta (Gaitan), an adolescent from Mexico who is frustrated with her life and in a moment of desperation steals USD $100,000 from her parents and crosses the border to reach New York City, where she has fantasized about starting a new life. But instead of a living a dream, Violetta is awoken to a harsh reality when she runs out of money, sending her into the arms of the villainous Nefastófeles (Almeida). Produced by Televisa Alternative Originals for Amazon Studios, season two will premiere exclusively on Prime Video next year and will be available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

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The Grand Tour Season Four – UK
Today’s news follows the recent announcement that the UK produced Prime Original global hit, The Grand Tour, has also been renewed for a fourth season. Season three of The Grand Tour launches worldwide on 18th January, 2019. Amazon announced in December that The Grand Tour series four will see Clarkson, Hammond & May ditch the tent and take on big adventure road trips that fans around the world love.

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Amazon Orders ‘The Power,’ in Which Any and Every Teenage Girl Can Magically Electrocute You, to Series

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Amazon has ordered “The Power” to series, the studio behind Prime Video said on Wednesday at the Television Critics Association press tour.
In the adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s novel, “suddenly, and without warning, all teenage…

‘The Expanse’: Amazon Sets 2019 Launch for Season 4, Will Starting Streaming Season 3 in February

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

The fourth season of “The Expanse” will launch on its new home, Prime Video, later this year, Amazon announced Tuesday.

But if you can’t wait till then for new episodes of the former Syfy series, then you can at least take comfort in the fact that Season 3 will be available to Prime members in over 200 countries and territories on Feb. 8. And Seasons 1-2 — which are currently available in the US — will become available internationally that same day.

The series, created by Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, follows a police detective in the asteroid belt, the first officer of an interplanetary ice freighter and an earth-bound United Nations executive slowly discover a vast conspiracy that threatens the Earth’s rebellious colony on the asteroid belt.

Also Read: ‘The Expanse’ Finds New Life at Amazon for Season 4

Prime Video rescued “The Expanse” after it was canceled by Syfy last May. Following some serious fan outcry, Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, made the Season 4 pickup announcement himself at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles, where the cast and showrunner were in attendance.

“The Expanse” stars Thomas Jane (“Deep Blue Sea”), Oscar-nominee Shohreh Asgdashloo (“Star Trek: Beyond”), Steve Strait (“The Covenant”), Dominique Tipper (“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”), Wes Chatam (“The Hunger Games”), Cas Anvar (“Punisher: War Zone”), Frankie Adams (“Mortal Engines”) and Shawn Doyle (“Frequency”), Chad L. Coleman (“The Walking Dead”), Florence Faivre (“The Sia Renaissance”), and Cara Gee (“Empire of Dirt”).

The show is produced by Alcon Television Group. Naren Shankar acts as showrunner.

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‘Lorena’ Trailer: Lorena Bobbitt and Her Ex Are Ready to Talk in Jordan Peele’s Docuseries (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Attention true-crime buffs: Amazon’s Prime Video has released the trailer and set the premiere date for “Lorena,” its four-part docuseries detailing the “infamous American scandal” of John Wayne and Lorena Bobbitt.

The Jordan Peele-executive produced show will launch Feb. 15 on Amazon Prime Video, following the world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival Jan. 29, the streamer announced Tuesday. (Yes, that’s the day after Valentine’s Day, for all you true-crime lovebirds out there.)

The streaming service also dropped a trailer previewing the “groundbreaking re-investigation,” which comes from executive producer Jordan Peele, featuring brand new interviews with Lorena and her ex.

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“This was a modern love story,” one of the doc’s commentators says, in the two-minute video. “Boy meets girl. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy marries girl. Girl cuts off boy’s penis.”

Here’s the official logline for the docuseries, per Amazon: Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Joshua Rofé (“Lost for Life”), “Lorena” reveals the hidden truths in the notorious case of John Wayne and Lorena Bobbitt and challenges the long-held narrative that surrounded this event. The series provides a fresh perspective on the story of Lorena Bobbitt and exposes how this event laid the groundwork for the modern 24-hour news cycle and increasing sensationalistic media coverage. Lost in tabloid coverage and late-night talk show jokes, the Bobbitt story was a missed opportunity for a national discussion on domestic and sexual assault in America.

“Lorena” is executive produced by Peele and Win Rosenfeld for Monkeypaw, Steven J. Berger and Joshua Rofé for Number 19, Tom Lesinski and Jenna Santoianni for Sonar. The series hails from Monkeypaw, Sonar Entertainment and Number 19.

“Lorena” will launch Feb. 15 on Amazon Prime Video.

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‘Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’: Zachary Levi on Midge’s Season 2 Finale Choice and What It Means for Benjamin (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Warning: This post contains major spoilers for the Season 2 finale of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”)

Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) made a giant choice at the end of the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” A couple of big decisions, actually. But one is truly more of a twist than the other.

For starters, she is going all in on standup now, taking off on tour with Shy Baldwin, which means leaving her family and would-have-been fiance Benjamin (Zachary Levi). And second, and even more shockingly, she went back to her ex Joel (Michael Zegen) — the husband who left her for his secretary in Season 1 — for a one-night stand in the closing moments of the episode, saying she didn’t want to be alone before she left. And he sealed that proposition with a kiss.

Also Read: ‘Marvelous Mrs Maisel’: Zachary Levi Fast-Talks About Joining Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Fast-Talking Club (Video)

TheWrap sat down with Levi to ask the Amazon Prime Video star about why he thinks Midge made these choices.

“Well, seemingly, she was doing everything she could to live the perfect life,” Levi says in the interview above. “Like, literally, you know, that was what drove her down to measuring herself and being the perfect wife, the perfect wife, the perfect wife. And she did everything and that still ended in Joel leaving. Not her leaving him, him leaving her.”

“And that, I think, when somebody feels like they’re doing everything by the book and that still doesn’t work that means the book kind of crumbles,” he continued. “And then while the book is crumbling, for her to find standup and find seemingly kind of what I think she feels to be her absolute purpose in the world, no matter what you find outside of that, you feel like you might be losing yourself again to not travel down the road that you have found now.”

Also Read: ‘The Marvelous Mrs Maisel’ Star Zachary Levi Exclusive StudioWrap Portraits (Photos)

Levi says “no matter how good Ben might look on paper or even coming back to Joel might look on paper” Midge has a journey she thinks she needs to follow now, adding: “I mean, obviously, from Ben’s point of view it’s like, ‘Look, I’d still support you in that. I don’t know why you gotta…’ But I think that flipped something in her like, ‘I don’t want to drag him through whatever the rest of this is and I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out who I am.’”

As for why Midge went to Joel, Levi believes it was for exactly the reason she said: “She just didn’t want to be alone right then.”

But what that means for Ben in Season 3, Levi says he has “no idea.”

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“I would be delighted if I got to go back and reprise my role of Benjamin on the show to wrap it up or keep it going or, you know, have a spot here and then a season later come back again, you know, in the same way that other great guest stars on other shows kind of keep circling back into people’s lives,” he says. “It’s an incredible sandbox to play in and those are the only sandboxes I want to play in, the really awesome, excellent ones.”

Watch the interview above.

“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video.

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‘Marvelous Mrs Maisel’: Zachary Levi Fast-Talks About Joining Amy Sherman-Palladino’s Fast-Talking Club (Video)

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If you’ve managed to binge the second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” since it dropped late Tuesday, then you’ve already discovered series newcomer Zachary Levi is a natural with rapid-fire dialogue. And that skill has earned the Season 2 star his stripes as a new member of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s fast-talking club.

The “Maisel” creator and her husband, writer/director Daniel Palladino, are known for writing quick, witty banter for their characters, and Levi’s Benjamin — a Jewish doctor introduced as a new love interested for Midge (Rachel Brosnahan) in the Prime Video comedy’s second installment — is no exception.

“I think I’m pretty good at the rapid-fire speech. You know, when I don’t stumble over my own tongue, which is easy enough to do,” Levi told TheWrap in an interview Wednesday.

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Levi says, “Amy and Dan and that writers’ room, they write just excellent material” and notes there is definitely a particular way that they want that material delivered on screen.

“Not only is it rapid-fire, but they want you to be word perfect as well,” Levi said. “And sometimes the way that they would word things was just really — I don’t know, it felt very counter-intuitive to the way I would word it.”

The actor says the duo were “collaborative” and open to letting him do what he needed to do so he could remember it all — and ended up nailing it on screen.

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“I mean, look, I’m fast-talking right now!” he said. (Which he was.)

Benjamin and Midge meet about halfway through Season 2, when both of their families are staying in the Catskills for the summer and their mothers try to set them up.

“It’s a slow burn, you know? Because she’s very bossy, and Benjamin’s just not having it,” Levi said. “People have kind of likened the character to a Mr. Darcy archetype, and I think that’s actually a really good, classic way to explain him. And he’s a progressively-minded guy, particularly for the late 1950s. He doesn’t want just some doting housewife; he wants somebody that challenges him. And Midge turns out to be quite a challenge… as she is to most of the people in her life.”

Also Read: ‘Marvelous Mrs Maisel’: Amazon Sets Season 2 Premiere Date for Rachel Brosnahan Comedy (Video)

Watch the fast-talking snippet of our interview with Levi above and check back with TheWrap for the actor’s thoughts on the end of Season 2 (once you are done binging it, that is) and his upcoming DC film “Shazam.”

“Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Season 2 is streaming now on Prime Video.

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‘Patriot’ Creator, Star Michael Dorman Tease John’s Season 2 Problems: ‘He Can’t See Straight, for One’

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“Patriot” is back in action. The Steven Conrad-created Amazon series launched its second season on Prime Video Friday, giving fans who have waited over a year and a half the continuation of U.S. intelligence officer John Tavner’s absurd, but thrilling tale (Michael Dorman).

After screwing up at his cover job at a Milwaukee piping company with an overbearing boss (Kurtwood Smith), the start of Season 2 finds John on the streets of Paris, without his bag of 11 million euros and nowhere near completing his goal of influencing Iran’s presidential election.

As a result, John’s father (Terry O’Quinn) is going to go all in with more extreme measures, including the assassination of the pro-nuclear candidate in a heavily-guarded Paris compound. And his mom, played by Debra Winger, is now roped into all this.

John — who would rather be a folk singer than a spy — is the linchpin here, and Conrad and Dorman told TheWrap he’s got more than a few problems as the eight-episode installment opens. The first is dealing with a head injury, with the severity expressed to viewers through a very blurry lens from John’s POV.

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“Well, he can’t see straight, for one,” Dorman told TheWrap. “Brain swelling may have that effect? Cars and bicycles. He succumbs to the fact that none of us can ever truly go it alone. We need support in some way, shape, or form. As for his mental state. Well… he seeks comfort from the one Tavner he feels can best assist him with love.” And that would be his mother.

Conrad told TheWrap Season 2 picks up right where Season 1 left off, because “Patriot” is an “one ongoing story.” Though there is a stark contrast between the freshman and sophomore years

“Season One examines the toll that living and working under a cover identity can take,” Conrad said. “Season Two examines the degree of conflict necessarily created by desperation.”

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Read more from TheWrap’s interviews with Conrad and Dorman below.

TheWrap: The main story in Patriot is can be overshadowed by the smaller, absurd plot points each episode, like the “American dimes” vs. “European dimes conversation” in the Season 2 premiere. How do you strike a balance between focusing on the overarching story, while including those staples of the show?

Steven Conrad: Nothing in “Patriot” is meant to be extraneous. The failure of Birdbath to account for the difference in weight between American and European coins directly kicks off the seasons most significant plot event. All human vulnerabilities in the world around John add up and integrate into making completion of John’s task more difficult.

TheWrap: There was a long gap between the Season 1 and Season 2 launches. Do you think fans can expect a long gap before Season 3, if there is going to be a Season 3?

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Conrad: We’ve all allowed time and space to begin work on season three, the time table for its telecast would allow for roughly the same period of downtime as the period between season one and season two

TheWrap: Without giving away too much — the Season 2 premiere shows John make a tough decision that must have serious consequences throughout the rest of the season. Can you explain why you think John made that choice and if we can expect it to turn out as poorly for him as some of his previous decisions?

Dorman: John doesn’t really make choices, rather he accepts the lesser of bad options as they present themselves. He has a cool patience. He’s unfortunate in the sense that the writer [Conrad] never leaves him any easy ones. Although he does eventually write a song about that. Things being easy. For every action there is an equal or lesser reaction and there’s a good deal of action in series 2. So much so that there’s even these guys called “The Action Boys.” Johns actions affect their actions and their actions affect Johns actions. It’s action strapped. I mean packed. There’s reactions.

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TheWrap: John’s relationship with his father was complicated at best in Season 1. Where do we find them in Season 2?

Dorman: Beneath the complication is always love. Which actually makes it more complicated. It’s complicated. In series 2 we do get insight to Tom’s choices through a series of interviews conducted by a mystery question asker person. But it does explain Tom’s thought process.

TheWrap: John’s mental state seems to be deteriorating quickly in the premiere (especially with how the camera shows his POV). How do you balance looking crazed and serious, while having conversations like the nonsensical “American dimes” one?

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Dorman: If I’m honest, I just do my best not to laugh. We have so much fun on that set.

TheWrap: Do you prefer the more dark, thrilling side of Patriot or the absurdist, silly side?

I’d prefer it if we could continue to make more “Patriot.” It’s a tender comment on being human, relationships and the effect of choices. So much fun.

“Patriot” Season 1 is available for streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.

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27 Shows You Can Binge Watch Over the Thanksgiving Holiday (Photos)

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Before the tryptophan from the turkey kicks in, check out TheWrap’s list of shows you can binge in four days over your Thanksgiving weekend. Don’t worry, we have dramas, comedies, action series, sci-fi shows on every platform from Netflix t…

Amazon’s Ad-Supported Streaming Service Could Be Its Ticket to Winning India

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‘Jack Ryan’ Attracted Nearly 40 Percent of Prime Video Users in Its First Month, Data Firm Says (Exclusive)

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“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” the Amazon original starring John Krasinski which launched in August, attracted nearly 40 percent of Prime Video users in the first month after its premiere, according to new data from 7Park Data shared exclusively with TheWrap.

According to 7Park, 37 percent of Amazon Video viewers watched the series last month, which is well above the average audience share of 9 percent.

A rep for Amazon Prime did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other Amazon Originals following “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” were “Man in the High Castle” (23 percent), “Hand of God” (22 percent). “Sneaky Pete” (19 percent) and “The Grand Tour” (18 percent), according to 7Park.

Provided by 7Park Data

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Part of the reason for the high percentage of viewers tuning in to “Jack Ryan” for its first month had to do with the series premiere, which took place August 31. Because it’s common for users to binge-watch a season as soon as its released, most new series experience a spike in viewership within the first week after their premiere.

The same trend can be seen with seasons 1 and 2 of “The Grand Tour” when taking a look at the 7Park graph below.

Provided by 7Park Data

This is the first time 7Park has tracked Amazon data. While the company has been tracking viewership metrics of both Hulu and Netflix, today it announced the addition of Amazon Prime Video viewership data to its Streaming Intelligence data product.

The new offering includes valuable insights into streaming behavior in more than 50 countries. 7Park Data’s Streaming Intelligence aims to help its clients better understand audience behavior in order to make better decisions about development, licensing, and marketing.

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“We were eager to use comprehensive, actionable viewership information on the three largest SVOD platforms — Hulu, Netflix and Amazon — and for better answers to ‘black box’ questions that can only come from a representative sample of actual viewing subscribers in the U.S. and around the world,” said Donna Murphy, SVP, Discovery Inc.’s Consumer Insights & Culture Lab.

“7Park Data gives us a better understanding of how our content and that of our competitors is performing and empowers us to make more strategic data-driven decisions about the kinds of content we’re producing for viewers and what content consumers are drawn to.”

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‘Utopia’: Toby Haynes To Direct Amazon Drama Based On UK Series

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Amazon Studios has set Toby Haynes (Doctor Who) to direct Utopia, its nine-episode adaptation of the 2013-14 British drama series.
Written by Gone Girl author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn, Utopia follows a group of young adults who meet online that a…

‘The Romanoffs’ Trailer: These (Maybe) Russian Royals Are ‘Proud’ (Video)

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“More royal, more problems,” seems to be the motto the characters at the center of Matthew Weiner’s “The Romanoffs” are living by.

In the latest trailer for the upcoming Amazon Prime anthology series, a slew of people believe themselves to be descendants of the famous Russian royal family — including Diane Lane, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Amanda Peet, and Kathryn Hahn. And these souls find themselves in the middle of (possibly self-inflicted) drama due to their lineage.

“Michael, there are so many people out there with your background and I guess they’re proud, but they’re really f—ed up,” one character says to another in a voiceover. Another (possible) Romanoff laments: “Boy, you’d think that royal blood dilutes over time, but the poison survives.”

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From the creator of “Mad Men,” “The Romanoffs” is a contemporary anthology series set around the globe featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. It stars Aaron Eckhart, Noah Wyle, Lane, Isabelle Huppert, Hendricks, Slattery, Peet, Jack Huston, Hahn, Paul Reiser and Andrew Rannells.

The series is written and executive produced by Weiner and “Mad Men” alum Semi Chellas. Co-executive producers include Kriss Turner Towner (“The Bernie Mac Show”), Blake McCormick (“Mad Men”) and Kathy Ciric (“Z: The Beginning of Everything”). Also joining the series from the old “Mad Men” team are Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton, who will act as consulting producers and writers.

See first look photos and the full episode lineup here.

Watch the trailer above.

“The Romanoffs” first two episodes drop on Oct. 12 on Amazon.

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Matthew Weiner’s ‘The Romanoffs’ Gets Amazon Debut Date; Teaser Reveals 20 Guest Stars (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Matthew Weiner’s “The Romanoffs” is finally coming to Amazon Prime, the streamer announced Saturday during the Television Critics Association press tour. The news was a bit of a surprise, as Amazon hasn’t said a word about the long-gestating project for months, following accusations of sexual misconduct posed against the “Mad Men” creator last fall by a writer who worked on the AMC series.

Amazon revealed the highly-anticipated original anthology series will debut on Friday, October 12. And, because you’ve been waiting so long to find out when it’s coming, Amazon also decided to tell you who is coming when it lands, with a teaser announcing a line-up of huge guest stars.

According to the show’s official logline, “The Romanoffs” is a contemporary anthology series, set around the globe, featuring eight separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family. The Romanoffs was shot on location in three continents and seven countries collaborating with local productions and creative talent across Europe, the Americas and the Far East.

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And each one of these stories will take place in a new location with a new cast, which includes the impressive list of guest stars that were announced in the teaser clip (seen above) today.

See the crazy long lineup of actors below:

Noah Wyle (“Falling Skies”), Kathryn Hahn (“Transparent”), Kerry Bishé (“Halt & Catch Fire”), Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”), Ben Miles (“Collateral”), Mary Kay Place (“Big Love”), Griffin Dunne (“Imposters”), Cara Buono (“Mad Men”), Ron Livingston (“The Conjuring”), Jon Tenney (“Hand of God”), Clea DuVall (“Veep”), Radha Mitchell (“Silent Hill”), Hugh Skinner (“Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again”), Juan Pablo Castañeda (“The Debt of Maximillian”), Emily Rudd (“Electric Dreams”), Adèle Anderson (“Company Business”), Annet Mahendru (“The Americans”), Louise Bourgoin (“I Am a Soldier”), Hera Hilmar (“Two Birds”) and Inès Melab (“Agathe Koltès”).

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The previously announced “Romanoffs” cast includes Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”), Marthe Keller (“Marathon Man”), Aaron Eckhart (“Sully”), Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”), Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men”), John Slattery (“Mad Men”), Amanda Peet (“Togetherness”), Jack Huston (“Boardwalk Empire”), Corey Stoll (“The Strain”), Andrew Rannells (“Girls”), Mike Doyle (“Odd Mom Out”), JJ Field (“TURN: Washington’s Spies”), Janet Montgomery (“Salem,” “This Is Us”) and Paul Reiser (“Red Oaks”).

The series is written and executive produced by creator Weiner and “Mad Men” alum Semi Chellas. Co-executive producers include Kriss Turner Towner (“The Bernie Mac Show”), Blake McCormick (“Mad Men”) and Kathy Ciric (“Z: The Beginning of Everything”). Also joining the series from the old “Mad Men” team are Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton, who will act as consulting producers and writers.

Watch the teaser (which, again, is mainly just a list of names) above.

“The Romanoffs” will debut Friday, October 12, on Amazon Prime.

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‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Directors the Russo Brothers Team With Amazon for Secret Project

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Amazon is getting into business with “Avengers: Infinity War” directors Anthony and Joe Russo aka the Russo Brothers, on a “large-scope, multi-layered international event series,” the streamer announced at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Saturday.

“The Russo Brothers have impacted the pop culture barometer of creative excellence with their vision for both ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Captain America: Civil War,’” head of Amazon Studios, Jennifer Salke, told reporters. “They brought a level of scale and execution to those films that has raised the bar for audiences everywhere and we can’t wait for them to do the same for us on this project for our Amazon Prime Customer. We are thrilled to be working with Joe and Anthony Russo and their AGBO Studios as they build this incredible, multifaceted, international franchise.”

While no IP is currently attached to the project, Amazon says “the origin mothership series will function as a fire-starter to ignite the creation of multiple original local language and local production series” which are “meant to enhance the entire entertainment experience and will be available for the viewer to deep dive into an imagined layered world.”

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The Russo Brothers’ AGBO Studios will produce the currently-untitled project, giving the siblings the “creative freedom to oversee an ambitious concept meant to captivate the Prime Video audience and redefine the boundaries of storytelling.”

Anthony and Joe Russo have sat behind the camera together for the Marvel Cinematic Universe films “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014), “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and, most recently, “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018). They are currently working on the untitled fourth installment in the “Avengers” franchise, set for a 2019 release.

On the small screen, the Russo Brothers are known for directing episodes of Mitch Hurwitz’s quirky comedy “Arrested Development” (a gig for which they won an Emmy) and Dan Harmon’s “Community.”

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Sam Esmail Takes Credit for ‘Finally’ Making Julia Roberts-Dermot Mulroney an On-Screen Couple

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You can thank “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail for finally getting Julia Roberts and Dermot Mulroney together. Fictionally speaking, that is, as the longtime co-stars will be playing lovers on Amazon’s upcoming thriller series “Homecoming.” And it only took them three projects, three decades, and the help of Esmail to officially hook them up on screen.

“This is our third time working together,” Roberts told reporters during the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association press tour Saturday, of teaming up with fellow “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “August: Osage County” alum, once more.

“But this is the ‘reunion,’” Esmail, who is directing “Homecoming,” chimed in. “Like, cause the second time you guys weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend.”

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“Well, we weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend the first time, we were best friends,” Roberts clarified, which garnered significant laughter from the audience for the cute reference to the ’90s rom-com. “He was my sister’s boyfriend in ‘August: Osage County.’”

Both Mulroney and Esmail jumped into correct her, as he was actually her sibling’s fiance in the Meryl Streep-led film.

“Fiance, excuse me,” she said. “That’s right,” Mulroney said. “And finally, my boyfriend. It only took 30 years,” Roberts said.

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“I kinda feel like I got you guys together finally,” Esmail added, proudly.

“Yes, Sam takes all the credit. He’s was like, ‘Oh I have a good idea,” she said. “How about Julia and Dermot? I bet that would be a cute match.’”

“Homecoming” — which hails from Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and Amazon Studios — is a psychological and political thriller that centers on Heidi (Roberts), a caseworker at a secret government facility and a soldier eager to rejoin civilian life. Based on Gimlet Media’s fictional podcast of the same name, the project marks Roberts first TV series regular role.

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Mulroney is set for a recurring guest star role on the series, playing Anthony, Heidi’s boyfriend, who is eager to please, but a bit needy and grows increasingly frustrated with Heidi’s lack of attention to him and their relationship.

Bobby Cannavale and Stephan James will co-star in the 10-episode series. The script is penned by podcast creators Eli Horowitz and Micah Bloomberg and directed by Esmail. Esmail will produce under his UCP deal and is reunited with his “Mr. Robot” crew on the series, including for director of photography Tod Campbell, production designer Anastasia White, and costume designer Catherine Marie Thomas.

“Homecoming” is produced by Esmail through his production company Esmail Corp, as well as “Mr. Robot” executive producer Chad Hamilton of Anonymous Content, Horowitz and Bloomberg, and Chris Giliberti, Alex Blumberg, and Matt Lieber of Gimlet Media. Roberts also executive produces through her production company Red Om Films, with her partners Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill co-executive producing.

“Homecoming” will debut Friday, Nov. 2 on Prime Video.

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