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Television

TCA 2018: New series from Nicole Kidman, Lena Waithe are headed to Amazon

Nicole Kidman
New projects announced by Amazon Studios include “The Expatriates” from Nicole Kidman’s production company, Blossom Films.
(Vianney Le Caer / Invision/Associated Press)

Amazon Studios is stocking its programming shelves with new series from Nicole Kidman and Lena Waithe, among others.

The announcements were made Saturday during the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills. The day marked Jennifer Salke‘s press tour debut as head of Amazon Studios since departing NBC earlier this year.

The new projects include “The Expatriates” from Kidman’s production company, Blossom Films. Based on the bestselling novel by Janice Y.K. Lee, the series will explore the lives of a close-knit group of women expatriates living in Hong Kong.

The drama is the first to come out of Amazon Studios’ first-look film and TV deal with Kidman’s company, and is just the latest TV project Kidman has been attached to since starring in and executive producing HBO’s “Big Little Lies.”

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“I’m so thrilled about the Blossom-Amazon collaboration,” Kidman said in a statement. “’The Expatriates’ is just the beginning of our shared goal in making delicious stories with something meaningful to say about the world.”

Salke also announced a two-season order for a horror anthology from the rising writer and producer Waithe (“The Chi,” “Dear White People”). Written by Little Marvin, the first season, titled “Them: Covenant,” is set in the early 1950s and revolves around a black couple, Alfred and Lucky Emory, who move their family from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. Then things get intense. Waithe will executive produce.

“Little Marvin’s script stayed with me for weeks after I read it,” Waithe said in a statement. “He’s written something that’s provocative and terrifying. The first season 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.”

Also getting the green light is a sci-fi romantic series, “Upload,” from “The Office” producer Greg Daniels. The comedy, which has received a 10-episode order, takes place in 2033, when people who are close to death can “upload” into a virtual afterlife of their choosing.

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Daniels created the series and will serve as showrunner. “Upload” was one of the last pilots ordered by former Amazon Studios chief Roy Price before he stepped down following sexual harassment allegations.

“Amazon is the perfect place to make ‘Upload,’ because of their strong creative team, and because it’s a company that could actually one day host a digital afterlife,” Daniels said in a statement. “If I get in good with them, I’m hoping for a big discount on my first thousand years.”

Each will stream on Amazon Prime. Launch dates for the series will be announced at a later time.

yvonne.villarreal@latimes.com

Twitter: @villarrealy


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