Amazon Studios has signed “American Gods” (pictured above) creator Neil Gaiman to an overall television deal, the company announced Tuesday morning at a press event in London. Gaiman and Amazon have previously teamed on “Good Omens.”
Additionally, the Prime Video partner studio has greenlight a “Wheel of Time” series and 10-episode competition show “Eco-Challenge 2019.” That latter one comes from Mark Burnett and Bear Grylls. The “Running Wild With Bear Grylls” host will host this show, too.
“What decided me was how much I enjoyed working with the Amazon team on ‘Good Omens,'” Gaiman said of his deal. “They are smart, gloriously enthusiastic people, who weren’t afraid of Good Omens being different but who were as determined as I was to make something as unique and exciting as it is. I’m thrilled to know that I’ll have a home at Amazon in the future where I can make television that nobody’s seen before, that’s quite unlike ‘Good Omens,’ but just as unusual and just as much fun.”
“Wheel of Time” is an adaptation of Robert Jordan’s best-selling fantasy novels, which have sold more than 90 million copies worldwide. Rafe Judkins is showrunner on the co-production between Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television.
“The Wheel of Time” is set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists, but only women can use it. Meaning that in this series — women hold the keys to power, per Amazon. The story follows Moiraine, a member of the shadowy and influential all-female organization called the “Aes Sedai” as she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women. Moiraine’s interested in these five because she believes one of them might be the reincarnation of an incredibly powerful individual, whom prophecies say will either save humanity or destroy it. The series draws on numerous elements of European and Asian culture and philosophy, most notably the cyclical nature of time found in Buddhism and Hinduism.
In addition to Judkins, Rick Selvage, Larry Mondragon, Ted Field, Mike Weber, Darren Lemke are executive producers. Harriet McDougal is a consulting producer.
“Eco-Challenge 2019” will pit teams of four competitors selected from around the world against each other and nature’s harsh elements in this grueling 24-hours a day, multi-day race. If one teammate quits the entire team is disqualified, which magnifies the pressure. The 2019 location for the international, epic adventure will be unveiled later this year, Amazon said.
In addition to Burnett and Grylls, Lisa Hennessy and Delbert Shoopman are also executive producers.
Here are some more details about this one, straight from Amazon’s media announcement:
Using state of the art cinematography, “Eco-Challenge 2019” tests the limits of human physical and mental endurance in the most rugged natural landscapes on earth. Each team, comprised of both men and women, compete in grueling challenges over a 350+ mile race course. Past Eco-
Challenge disciplines have included whitewater rafting, canoeing, mountaineering, horseback riding, scuba diving and mountain biking - those competing for the Eco-Challenge 2019 event will be revealed to the selected teams later this year. To finish requires teamwork, courage, skill, and commitment; to win demands the extraordinary.