In the aftermath of Mad Men, creator Matt Weiner essentially held carte blanche for any TV return. Amazon managed to scoop him up for a global anthology series; kept a mystery at the time, but now revealed as an episodic exploration of The Romanoffs, a lost royal Russian family.

Per The Hollywood Reporter and Weiner himself, the likely 2018 series will follow “people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Romanov [family, the last imperial dynasty to rule Russia].” Each episode will feature a different cast, a different story and a different location for those claiming familial ties to the son and daughter that apparently escaped the 1918 massacre of the czar and his family.

Said Weiner of the story’s appeal:

The reason that I picked the Romanovs is that in an era where we have social media and so much theoretical connection to each other it really seems like we’re further apart than ever. And I love this idea that these characters believe themselves to be, whether they are or not, descendants of this last autocratic family who are part of one of the great true crime stories of all time. I also love that it’s the chance to talk about nature v nurture, what they have in common and what is left of a grand heritage.

Weiner will write and executive produce the new series, with an aim to direct half of the eight-episode order. The Mad Men creator and Sopranos alum also corrected the initial budget reports from a $70 million commitment co-financed by Amazon and The Weinstein Co., down to around $50 million.

No completed scripts have gone out for casting purposes, though Weiner wouldn’t rule out working with any Mad Men alum. Behind the camera at least, former Sterling-Cooper management will include producing partner Blake McCormick, and writers Semi Chellas, Marie and Andre Jacquemetton and more.

We’ll learn more details in the coming months, but might The Romanoffs allow Weiner to duplicate the success of Mad Men?

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