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Amazon Prime Video renews Carnival Row, The Expanse and teases more LoTR details

By Tara Bennett
Lord of the Rings amazon map second age

At the Amazon Prime Video TCA executive panel this morning, Jennifer Salke, Albert Cheng, and Vernon Sanders revealed a lot of their news regarding their genre series, including the much-anticipated Lord of the Rings television series, which announced its creative team.

Writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay will be the executive producers and showrunners of the Lord of the Rings series. They join director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom), who will direct the first two episodes when the series goes into production in 2020.

They will also add heavyweight producers to the project, including former Game of Thrones writer/producer Bryan Cogman (consulting) and executive producer Bruce Richmond, writer/executive producer Justin Doble (Stranger Things), writer/executive producer Gennifer Hutchison (Breaking Bad), writer/executive producer Jason Cahill (The Sopranos), executive producer Lindsey Weber (10 Cloverfield Lane), and more.

Also below the line heading the creative departments will be costume designer Kate Hawley (Suicide Squad), Academy Award-winning production designer Rick Heinrichs (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Jason Smith (The Revenant), Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey, and renowned illustrator/concept artist John Howe.

Asked when in the second age the series will take place, Sanders said fans will just have to be patient about learning more specifics. Chang also said that they would be revealing where the series will be shot in the near future.

As for the rest of the Amazon Prime Video slate, the trio announced that Carnival Row and The Expanse were picked up for new seasons (second and fifth, respectively).

Sanders said of Row, “Not only were we excited about how it [the first season developed], but we sat down with the producers to hear what they wanted to do with Season 2, and we were ready with jumping in.”

Carnival Row - Official Teaser: Bury a Friend | Prime Video

The exec acknowledged that two other big successes this year have been the adaptation of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens. Sanders said they’ve already discussed continuing the tale with Gaiman. “We’re lucky to have an ongoing relationship with Neil, so the notion has come up to revisit the world, and it’s in Neil’s hands. Whatever he wants to do.”

Last but not least, the development of Galaxy Quest into a series is in the hands of comedian/writer Paul Scheer, and Sanders confirmed their development process is organic and nothing new is ready to be announced.