11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Amazon Axes Zelda Fitzgerald Series Months After Surprise Renewal (Exclusive)
Amazon is reversing course on Z: The Beginning of Everything.
The retail giant and streaming service has opted to cancel the previously renewed Zelda Fitzgerald period drama starring Christina Ricci.
The writers room had been busy prepping scripts for season two and the show was already in preproduction, with sources noting about $7 million has already been spent on the now-scrapped season. The move to reverse course comes as Amazon is said to be reducing its spending on originals heading into 2018, sources say.
The decision to cut their losses on Z comes five months after Amazon Studios gave a surprising season-two pickup to the show from Christine Vachon. When THR exclusively broke news about the renewal, sources at the time said the show appeared sure to be canceled. The series has a weak 61 score on Metacritic. (Amazon, like Netflix and Hulu, does not release viewership information.)
Z: The Beginning of Everything was based on Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler and followed Zelda (Ricci) through her marriage to author F. Scott Fitzgerald (David Hoflin). David Strathairn co-starred. The series was created by Dawn Prestwich and Nicole Yorkin, who also exec produced alongside Pamela Koffler, Vachon and Ricci. Vachon, meanwhile, has an overall deal with Amazon Studios.
Z: The Beginning of Everything is the first show Amazon has renewed before opting to reverse course. It joins other shows canceled after one season at Amazon, including Mad Dogs, Good Girls Revolt, Betas and likely Woody Allen's Crisis in Six Scenes.
Next up for Amazon is fellow period drama The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel as well as additional seasons of Fleabag, Goliath, Man in the High Castle and Patriot, among others.