‘Mare of Easttown’ could have been an Amazon show

When “Mare of Easttown” made its debut in April on HBO, few likely expected the show would prove to be one of the year’s most acclaimed and Emmy-nominated series. But buoyed by strong word-of-mouth and its weekly rollout, “Mare” ended its run with a finale that satisfied fans and Emmy voters alike. The show received 16 nominations for HBO, including Best Limited Series, Best Actress in a Limited Series for Kate Winslet, Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series for Evan Peters, and Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series for Julianne Nicholson and Jean Smart. Winslet and Peters, meanwhile, are the odds-on favorites to win in their respective categories.

But it almost didn’t happen according to that script. In a new interview at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Amazon Prime Video boss Jen Salke said she had hoped to land “Mare of Easttown” for the streaming platform but lost out to HBO. “We tried hard to get ‘Mare of Easttown’ and we lost it in the negotiation,” Salke said Wednesday in a chat with James Corden. “I do think about the process. I did look back on what our process was going through that because I really, really loved the show. And I’m such a fan of Kate’s and I would be proud to have it on the service.”

Created by Brad Ingelsby, “Mare of Easttown” focused on a detective (Winslet) trying to solve a murder in her small Delaware County community in Pennslyvania. The show was praised for its verisimilitude, especially the care production paid to the local accents and wardrobe of the setting. Speaking to Gold Derby, executive producer Mark Roybal explained that while they had numerous offers for the show, HBO felt like the natural landing spot on account of its traditional rollout.

“I think that the timing of it, that people wanted to take a breather and wait a week – they had that patience,” he said. “There was this communal experience of watching it and talking about it week to week. It was a throwback to when we did have those water cooler moments.”

A number of this year’s top Emmy nominees unfurled in a similar fashion: “Ted Lasso,” “Wandavision,” “The Mandalorian,” and “Hacks” all aired episodes in a weekly release pattern rather than dropped all at once. 

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