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January 12, 2021 |

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Amazon takes first-window rights to Freeform thriller ‘Cruel Summer’

L-R: Tia Napolitano, Michelle Purple and Jessica Biel

Amazon Prime Video has acquired exclusive first window worldwide rights (excluding the United States, Canada and China) to psychological thriller Cruel Summer.

The series was produced by Entertainment One (eOne) and Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple’s prodco Iron Ocean Productions and is set to land on the streamer following its US premiere on Freeform later this year.

Cruel Summer was created and executive produced by Bert V Royal (Easy A), with Tia Napolitano (Grey’s Anatomy) serving as showrunner and executive producer, while the pilot directed and exec produced by Max Winkler. Entertainment One holds worldwide distribution rights to the series (excluding US and Canada), including second windows.

The story takes places over three summers during the 1990s when a popular teen goes missing and a seemingly unrelated girl transforms from a sweet and awkward youngster into the most popular girl in town – and eventually becomes the most despised person in America. The cast includes Olivia Holt, Chiara Aurelia, Michael Landes and Harley Quinn Smith.

“With Cruel Summer, Jessica Biel, Michelle Purple, Bert V. Royal and Tia Napolitano have created a unique drama that will have Prime members around the world biting their fingernails as this mysterious story plays out,” said Brad Beale, VP of worldwide content Acquisition for Prime Video.

“Cruel Summer is incredibly timely in today’s age of strong female voices, and unique in telling the story from dual perspectives, unravelling a dark mystery piece by piece,” added Stuart Baxter, president of international distribution at eOne.

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