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Lena Waithe Launching Horror Anthology Series ‘THEM’ for Amazon Prime

TCA: The Emmy winner says the new series will remind viewers that "being black in 2018" is what's really terrifying.

Lena Waithe'Dear White People' TV show premiere, Los Angeles, USA - 02 May 2018

John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

Watch out Ryan Murphy — Lena Waithe has some American horror stories of her own to tell. The Emmy-winning writer is executive producing “THEM,” a new anthology series for Amazon Prime Video that received a two-season order Saturday afternoon.

Written by Little Martin, the first season, entitled “THEM: Covenant,” is described as follows:

Set in 1953, Alfred and Lucky Emory decide to move their family from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. The family’s home on a tree lined, seemingly idyllic street becomes ground zero where malevolent forces both real and supernatural threaten to taunt, ravage and destroy them.

“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.”

“My heart was still pounding an hour after I heard this pitch. The show is edge of your seat scary and addictive while also being provocative and socially relevant,” Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement. “We are thrilled to be in business with the incredibly talented Lena Waithe, Little Marvin and Vertigo.”

“THEM” is just one of the many projects Waithe is currently spearheading as a writer/producer; TBS recently greenlit a pilot for the comedy “Twenties,” her Showtime series “The Chi” was renewed for a second season, and she recently signed a first-look deal with the network. Waithe also wrote the film “Queen & Slim,” starring Daniel Kaluuya, which Melina Matsoukas will direct.

(One thing you might not have known, by the way: Waithe was a staff writer on the Fox crime procedural “Bones” from 2014 to 2015!)

For all of Amazon’s announcements from the Television Critics Association press tour, follow IndieWire’s coverage here.

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