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Amazon Severs Ties With TWC: Drops David O. Russell Series, Takes Over ‘The Romanoffs’

Amazon Studios has made a decision on the two Weinstein Company series it was “reviewing options” on. The company “no longer plans on moving forward with the David O’Russell Project. As for Matthew Weiner’s  The Romanoffs, Amazon intends to move forward without the involvement of The Weinstein Company,” the company said Friday night.

The pricey untitled David O.Russell series starring Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore and The Romanoffs got caught up in the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal, which engulfed his now-former company, TWC,  including its television division, Weinstein TV.

Following Amazon’s cancellation, the A-list trio involved in the untitled David O. Russell series announced that they are pulling the plug altogether. “We support Amazon’s decision as In light of recent news and out of respect for all those affected we have decided together that it is best to not move forward with this show,” David O. Russell, Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore said in a statement.

In the early days of the Harvey Weinstein controversy, TWC quickly moved in remove his executive producer credit from all series, including the two on Amazon. But that did not calm rampant speculation that Amazon was looking to part ways with TWC altogether —  especially after more and more women started coming forward with harrowing tales of sexual harassment and assault —  and that the David O. Russell series was in danger.

“We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with the Weinstein Co.,” Craig Berman, VP communications at Amazon Entertainment, said in a statement on Tuesday night, amid rising concerns within the company, exposed during a staff meeting earlier that day.

Amazon picked up The Romanoffs in a eight-episode, $70 million deal and the David O. Russell’s series in a two-season $160 million deal within a span of two weeks last fall, with the close relationship between Amazon Studios head Roy Price and Harvey Weinstein said to have been a factor in the back-to-back big-ticket buys. (At about the same time, TWC bought a script from Price’s fiancé, writer Lila Feinberg, upon Harvey Weinstein’s recommendation.)

Matthew Weiner Amazon Series
REX/Shutterstock

While TWC had signed on as co-financier on both series, the company has not come through with any financing as of yet, even with one of the shows, the star-studded The Romanoffs, already in production, and Amazon Studios has been solely footing the bill so far. (Sources close to TWC said that the company’s contribution are not due due until 2018.)

The David O. Russell’s series had been a question mark. It was still ways off from start of production, and, in an unusual move, limiting its exposure, I hear Amazon had only taken domestic distribution.

The two series had been pet projects of Amazon Studios topper Price who yesterday was suspended indefinitely over a sexual harassment allegation. With him gone, the company moved swiftly to cut ties with TWC.

 

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