Matthew Weiner arguably kickstarted Peak TV with Mad Men, his period drama about advertising in the 1960s that explored social mores and the complex life of Don Draper, ad man and self-reinventor extraordinaire. And then basically he disappeared. The only thing we knew is that he was working on a series for Amazon, which he’s finally revealed: The Romanoffs, an anthology series about people claiming they’re descended from Russian royalty.
Weiner laid out the plan to The Hollywood Reporter about the $50 million, eight episode show, where each episode will focus on a different claimant to the Russian throne:
We’re doing an actual anthology — and I say it that way because the word is used for different purposes now than it was when I was growing up. They’re contemporary but every single episode — and there will be eight — has a different cast, a different story and a different location. The thing that holds them together is that all of the stories involve people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Romanov [family, the last imperial dynasty to rule Russia.]
For some context, in 1918, revolutionaries supposedly killed the entire Russian royal family. Ever since, however, rumors have lingered that one or two of them managed to escape and live in the West. Most commonly it’s Princess Anastasia assumed to have escaped, but there have been a host of other impostors throughout the years. It’s especially interesting in light of the theme in Mad Men of various people assuming new identities in various forms and ways, Don Draper in particular.
Also of interest is that behind the scenes, Weiner notes it’s a Mad Men reunion, so the two shows will reflect each other in some ways, most likely. We’ll find out once it gets underway; Weiner is still working on the scripts.