8:34am PT by Kate Stanhope
Stana Katic Drama 'Absentia' Acquired by Amazon
Castle grad Stana Katic is headed to Amazon.
The retail and streaming giant has landed the U.S. rights to her new drama, Absentia. The 10-episode first season is set to premiere stateside sometime in 2018.
In addition to the U.S., Amazon will distribute the drama in Australia, Austria, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey and the U.K. The drama will be available in other territories after its linear broadcast debut.
Absentia stars Katic as Emily Byrne, an FBI agent who disappears without a trace and is declared dead while hunting one of Boston's most notorious serial killers. Six years later, she is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive and with no memory of the years she was missing. She returns home not only to learn that her husband has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, but also to soon find herself implicated in a string of murders.
Patrick Heusinger (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) stars opposite Katic as Emily’s now-former husband and fellow FBI agent Nick who struggles with the guilt that he stopped looking for Emily, and his rekindled feelings for her. He now must bring Emily into custody as the prime suspect in a shocking series of murders. Emily risks putting her family in more danger as she goes on the run to search for her answers and prove her innocence.
The cast also includes Cara Theobold (Downton Abbey), Neil Jackson (Sleepy Hollow), Angel Bonanni (False Flag), Richard Brake (Game of Thrones), Ralph Ineson (Game of Thrones), Paul Freeman (The Dogs of War), Bruno Bichir (Narcos) and Patrick McAuley (The Conjuring 2).
Katic also executive produces the series, which hails from creators Gaia Violo and Matt Cirulnick based on a pilot script written by Violo. Cirulnick, Julie Glucksman and Maria Feldman (Homeland, Fauda) also exec produce along with director Oded Ruskin (False Flag). The Tel Aviv-based Masha Productions produces the drama.
“Absentia is an exciting new thriller which combines family and love with suspense and vindication,” said Amazon vp worldwide TV content acquisition Brad Beale. “Prime members worldwide are going to love this well-written show with remarkable performances by a terrific ensemble cast led by Stana Katic in her newest lead role.”
Absentia was ordered to series in October 2016 for AXN, the Sony Pictures Television-owned premium cable/satellite and cable network. Sony Pictures Television handles distribution of the series in association with Sony Pictures Television's International Networks. Absentia premiered earlier this year in several countries, including Spain, Portugal, Romania and Poland via SPTN's AXN channels, where it won its time slot.
“Amazon is the perfect home for this innovative new thriller series. We believe Absentia will be a standout show for Amazon Prime members around the world,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment exec vp worldwide television distribution Paul Littmann.
Added Marie Jacobson, Sony Pictures Television Networks exec vp programming and production: “Absentia started as a passion project for Sony’s Networks group with a brilliant director and producer and a stellar cast of international talent, all willing to jump into an entirely new model. We are thrilled to share this premium independent drama series with Amazon’s global viewers."
Katic previously starred on the ABC procedural Castle for eight years before the show was canceled in 2016. Her former co-star Nathan Fillion is also readying his TV return in a forthcoming ABC drama from former Castle boss Alexi Hawley. The untitled project landed a straight-to-series order at the network last month.