YA Drama 'Panic' Ordered to Series at Amazon

Lauren Oliver - Getty - H 2019
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Amazon is entering the young-adult space with a show from best-selling author Lauren Oliver.

The project, Panic, is one of three YA pilots Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke ordered shortly after taking the job in 2018 and is the first to go to series. It is set in a small town where graduating high school seniors take part in a competition they believe is their one chance to escape. With the rules of the game changed, the current class has to decide how much they're willing to risk to get out.

"Panic tells a story aimed at young adults, but anyone would be pulled in by the compelling characters and high stakes drama brought to life by Lauren Oliver," Salke said Thursday in a statement. "She is a rare talent in her ability to capture this generation so authentically."

Oliver is writing each episode and serving as executive producer along with Joe Roth, Jeff Kirschenbaum and Adam Schroeder. Lynley Bird of Oliver's Glasstown Entertainment and Alyssa Altman of Roth Kirschenbaum Films are co-exec producers of the Amazon Studios effort. A premiere date and episode count have yet to be announced.

"I am excited that Amazon is broadening its scope to include stories of emergent adulthood, and grateful that Panic will be among their first generation," said Oliver. "This has already been my favorite kind of project: long, thrilling, challenging and immensely transformative. And we haven't even started preproduction!"

The Panic cast includes Olivia Welch, Mike Faist, Ray Nicholson and Will Chase. 

Rival streamers Netflix and Hulu have a head start on the YA space with shows like 13 Reasons Why, On My Block and The Society (Netflix) and Runaways and All Night (Hulu). The other pilots Amazon has in development are College, which counts Channing Tatum and Jill Soloway as exec producers, and The Wilds, a drama about a group of teenage girls stranded on an island.

Oliver's deal was negotiated by UTA, Stephen Barbara of Inkwell and attorney Jamie Feldman.