Amazon decided to dump a big rush delivery of new TV news on our doorsteps today, taking advantage of its day in the spotlight at the TCA summer press tour to roll out all sorts of new info—some expected, some not—about its upcoming and ambitious slate of shows. We already talked a bit about the company’s continuing plans for its billion-dollar Lord Of The Rings show, but new studio head Jennifer Salke also announced new series from several big TV names, namely Lena Waithe, Nicole Kidman, and Greg Daniels.
First up: Salke confirmed a two-season order for Waithe’s new horror anthology series, Them. According to Waithe—who recently won an Emmy for her writing work on Master Of None, and who just signed a new first-look deal with Showtime—the show’s first season, sub-titled Covenant, “Will speak to how frightening it was to be black in 1953. It will also remind us that being black in 2018 is just as horrifying. This anthology series will examine the cultural divides among all of us and explore us vs Them in a way we’ve never seen before.”
Meanwhile, Kidman—who cemented her occasional flirtations with TV last year with HBO’s Big Little Lies—is producing Amazon’s new series The Expatriates, about a group of outsiders living in Hong Kong. It’s not clear yet whether Kidman will also star in the series, or if she’ll stick to a behind-the-scenes roles.
Finally, Salke announced a new series from The Office’s Greg Daniels, titled Upload. The series—which stars Andy Allo and Robbie Amell—is being described as a “half-hour sci-fi romantic satire,” and is the final show to survive Amazon’s old “make us a pilot and we’ll see” approach to TV production. (The streaming service is now hunting bigger game, with direct-to-series orders like the ones granted to Waithe and Kidman’s shows.) Still, the Daniels pedigree appears to have won out, with Amazon ordering a single season of the show, about a near-future where dying people can upload their brains to a virtual realm.