Amazon Prime announces 20 new shows, including 6 Indian series from Anushka Sharma, Ali Abbas Zafar

Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi
Feb 14, 2019 01:31 PM IST

Amazon Prime Video on Tuesday announced more than 20 new original series, including six from India, produced by the likes of Anushka Sharma’s Clean Slate Films and Ali Abbas Zafar.

Amazon Prime Video on Tuesday announced that it had greenlit more than 20 new and returning Prime Original Series to go into production in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, India, Japan and Mexico.

Ali Fazal and Pankaj Tripathi in a still from Mirzapur, renewed for season 2.
Ali Fazal and Pankaj Tripathi in a still from Mirzapur, renewed for season 2.

“We’re delighted to announce the commissioning of more than 20 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,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios, in a statement. “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.”

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“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,” said James Farrell, Head of International Originals. “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.”

New Prime Original series announced today include:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 retelling 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. Philipp Kadelbach (Perfume, Generation War, SS-GB) will be directing.

Also read: Four More Shots Please review: Amazon’s ‘sex’ comedy hurts at first but gets better with time

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 spin-off from 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 $150 million bribery conspiracy.

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. Production is set for 2019 from Dynamo (Narcos, El Chapo) and Red Creek Productions (Sins of My Father).

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Bachelorette - Japan

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 spin-off 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.

Returning Prime Original series announced today include:

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.

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. 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 $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).

The Grand Tour Season Four - UK

Tuesday’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 launched 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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