Amazon’s bizarre take on Penny Marshall’s beloved A league apart will get one last at bat.
The retail/streamer giant, after months of negotiations, has handed over a second and final season renewal for the series from showrunners Will Graham and Abbi Jacobson. The Sony Pictures Television-produced show will end with a four-episode final season. The news follows months of renegotiations with Sony to lower the show’s licensing fees and after the cast had to sign new deals given the order is for half of the episodes shown in the first season, according to reports. sources.
Representatives for Amazon and Sony declined to comment because deals have not yet been finalized for what sources say will be billed as a “limited run.”
In the works since early 2018, Graham (Amazon recently launched Daisy Jones and the Six) recruited Jacobson (vast city) for the more modern take on Marshall’s beloved 1992 feature that starred Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and Tom Hanks. Graham and Jacobson received Marshall’s blessing on their update before his passing. The duo also recruited several members of the former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to serve as advisers, including the legendary Maybelle Blair, who at 95 came out as gay during the show’s press tour.
The series starring Jacobson, D’Arcy Carden, Chante Adams, Melanie Field and Kate Berlant relies on the wink and you’ll miss it nods to sexuality and racism that were briefly featured in Marshall’s film. In addition to featuring stories of queer league players, Amazon’s take also examines the plight of black women who were not allowed to join the league and were part of another contingent of teams that traveled the country.
The eight-episode first season bowed immediately in August to positive reviews; it currently enjoys an impressive 94% rating from critics and an 87% score from viewers on Rotten Tomatoes. The show was also recognized by GLAAD (Outstanding New Television Series), Independent Spirit Awards (for supporting actress Gbemisola Ikumelo), and NAACP Image Awards (costume design). He was also honored by the Critics Choice Association, winning the Women’s Committee Seal for the Empowerment of Women in Entertainment, the National Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award, and the Voice and of the visibility of the National Council of La Raza.
Sources say Graham – who had an initial deal with Amazon dating back to 2017 with work on Alpha House And Mozart in the Jungle – and Jacobson pushed hard for the League renewal. The producers Sony Pictures Television, which owns the rights to League, also negotiated a reduced licensing fee as Amazon sought to reduce the show’s overall price and budget for a possible second season. Sources claim that a wrap-up movie has also been considered for the series.
The decision to bring League for an abbreviated final season, Amazon – which, like other streamers, does not publish traditional viewership data – continued to spend heavily on a well-known IP address. Amazon has already invested more than half a billion dollars in its the Lord of the Rings series, power rings. The streamer spent $250 million alone just to secure the worldwide TV rights to the franchise. Sources also claim that Amazon’s recent land rights deal tomb Raider was the second most spent by the streamer on rights after LOTR. The company is preparing a television series as well as a film and a video game. Next, Amazon has the Costly and Troubled World Series of Events Citadel of the Russo brothers.