Hollywood is still reeling from the high-profile sexual harassment and rape allegations against mega-producer Harvey Weinstein, and the ripples will likely spread out for a long time. On the business side of things, the scandal has created complications for two highly anticipated TV shows currently in development at Amazon: Robert de Niro and Julianne Moore's upcoming team-up with David O. Russell, and The Romanoffs, which is Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner's follow-up to his acclaimed AMC drama. And it's not just about having Weinstein's name attached, either.
It appears that some execs at Amazon Studios are getting kind of hesitant about being a part of two series that currently have The Weinstein Co.'s name attached, and according to THR, the streaming side of the retailer juggernaut is reviewing its options in regards to what will be done about the two heavily hyped projects. The goal at this point is reportedly to move forward on both new shows while attempting to completely distance The Weinstein Co. from the pair without wrecking anything when it comes to the creative talent that has already been signed on.
Speaking of, let's look at where both of the aforementioned shows are at right now. David O. Russell's currently still-untitled crime drama has allegedly already cost Amazon $40 million, and the most that's been done for the project involves a handful of scripts being written. Already tapped for a two-season order, this project has already made some waves for its price tag, with the proposed $160 million budget causing most interested parties (that weren't Amazon) to turn away before even knowing what the show was about. Robert de Niro himself locked up a massive payday that amounts to $750,000 an episode, and the show has yet to actually finish the casting process beyond netting de Niro and Julianne Moore.
But The Weinstein Co. apparently hasn't yet rounded up a single dollar for that crime drama, despite being brought in as a financial buoy, with Harvey Weinstein's contract reportedly excluding him from creative input. (It's stated that Weinstein talked big about being able to control the sometimes affronting nature that David O. Russell has showcased during his career.) Currently, it's expected that Weinstein's name will be removed from the show altogether.
Things are looking slightly more productive on Matthew Weiner's side, although The Weinstein Co. apparently didn't pony up any dough for this relatively pricey project either. Planned as an historical anthology, The Romanoffs is said to have completed production on the first handful of episodes, with former Mad Men stars Christina Hendricks and John Slattery brought in to star. The $75-million drama is heading into a temporary hiatus soon, but this was a planned affair, as Weiner is set to do on a book tour to promote his debut novel Heather, the Totality. When that's completed, it's expected that work will go back to normal for the Amazon series, though likely without any Weinstein associations attached.
For those who happened to miss the wall-to-wall news stories in recent days, a number of women have come forward with claims of sexual assault and harassment that Harvey Weinstein had put them through in his decades as a Hollywood power player. The accusers include actresses, filmmakers, and numerous former employees of Weinstein, most of whom say that they hadn't previously come forward due to the fear that Weinstein's influence would get them shunned in the industry. Others, like Rose McGowan, had taken legal settlements in court over their accusations. In the aftermath of the jaw-dropping stories, Weinstein was promptly fired from The Weinstein Co., and his wife Georgiana Chapman announced she was leaving him.
It's a story where the floodgates likely won't close for a while longer, so we can probably expect more fallout, as well as more behind-the-scenes issues like those mentioned above, in the near future. In the meantime, check out all the other new and returning shows hitting the small screen soon with our fall TV premiere schedule. Or, you know, you can just go back and binge-watch Mad Men all over again.