Amazon Prime premiered its new thriller series entitled Panic at the Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, according to Variety. The premiere was COVID-safe, being hosted outside and only hosting 85 attendees.
The series is based on the 2014 novel of the same name by Lauren Oliver, who also serves as writer and an executive producer. It follows graduated seniors living in a Texas town who must participate in Panic, a high-stakes game that occurs once a year, featuring a series of dangerous challenges in order to win a large sum of money. The teens must complete death-defying feats in front of mysterious judges in order to win the money and finally escape their small-town lives.
The show was green-lit for a pilot in June 2018 and ordered to series in May 2019, yet production was continuously stalled. Star Olivia Welch (Shithouse), who plays the main character, Heather, said of the production process, “It’s been such a journey. We did a pilot in 2018 in New York and there was a break where it was getting tested, as pilots do, and then it got picked up and we moved it to Austin where we filmed and then got stopped by the pandemic. And then we took another break and we filmed again and now its here,” via Variety. She continued, “It’s really surreal since I’ve been doing this show since 2018 and now it’s like wow, it’s the night that everyone’s talked to me about it. It’s my first premiere of anything that I have ever done so it’s really, really cool,” via Variety.
Panic co-star Jessica Sula (Split), who plays Heather’s best friend, also had words to say about production amidst a pandemic, “Ther was a lot of protocol but it was keeping us safe and we were happy to work. In any circumstance, we were happy to be back,” per Variety. All ten episodes of Panic are now available to stream on Amazon.