Amazon Studios announced a flurry of new series orders and development on Saturday, including a new drama from Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films, and a new sci-fi romantic comedy from “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” executive producer Greg Daniels.
Based on the best-selling novel by Janice Y.K. Lee, and screenwriter Alice Bell (The Beautiful Lie), Kidman’s “The Expatriates” is set in “The Vertical City” of Hong Kong, and explores the lives of a close-knit expatriate community.
“After announcing our recent first look deal with Nicole and Blossom Films, we are thrilled to kick off this relationship by bringing this very popular novel from author Janice Y.K. Lee to Prime Video,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon Studios. “The story weaves an addictive tapestry that follows a group of complex women and their lives as outsiders in Hong Kong. It’s a compelling exploration of the strength of these women as they persevere through struggles with marriage, career, parenting and unimaginable loss.”
Said Kidman 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.”
Here’s the logline: “The Expatriates” follows a community “where affluence is celebrated, friendships are intense but knowingly temporary, and personal lives, deaths and marriages are played out publicly—then retold with glee.
“There’s Margaret, a world-renowned American architect struggling with the unwavering suspicion that something could be wrong with her latest project – an ambitious skyscraper already gracing the Hong Kong skyline – until an unexpected event upends her life; Mercy, a Korean-American college graduate with a questionable past seeking a new life, who quickly finds herself embroiled in an unforgivable scandal; Hilary, a British expat who yearns for a child despite her uncertain marriage, then dabbles in local customs and make-believe identities in a deliberate attempt to change her fate; Tammy, a high-flying alpha-expat who is blindsided when her husband’s Chinese second family appears on her doorstep; Barbara, whose decadent lifestyle belies a ticking clock; Franny, an Australian expat loyal to anyone she’s having lunch with, who faces an existential crisis; and Olivia, a Chinese local socialite who experiences a humiliating loss of status.
“This is a delicious world of unusual alliances, heartfelt truths and mystifying superstitions; a place where fortunes are made and lost, families sundered and brought together, identities made and then remade in pursuit of an extraordinary life.”
As for Daniels’ project, “Upload” is a 10-episode series starring Andy Allo (“Pitch Perfect 3”) and Robbie Amell (“The X-Files”).
The show is described as “a sci-fi sitcom that takes place in the near future, where people who are near death can be ‘uploaded’ into a virtual afterlife of their choice. In 2033, secretly romantic Brooklyn-born Nora works customer service for a luxurious virtual reality environment. When handsome L.A. party boy Nathan’s self-driving car crashes, his high-maintenance girlfriend uploads him permanently into Nora’s VR world.”
Daniels created and wrote “Upload,” and will serve as showrunner and also direct the pilot. Howard Klein is also executive producer.
“Amazon is the perfect place to make ‘Upload,’” said Daniels in a statement, “because of their strong creative team, and because it’s a company that could actually one day host a digital afterlife. If I get in good with them, I’m hoping for a big discount on my first thousand years.”