Roku and Lionsgate Feb. 1 announced that “Swimming With Sharks,” the scripted drama series about the dark side of the Hollywood studio system, will make its debut on The Roku Channel in April.
The series is about a Hollywood assistant who turns the tables on an abusive boss. The Roku Original stars Diane Kruger and Kiernan Shipka in a modern take on the cult drama.
“Historically, Hollywood has always represented reinvention, rebirth, starting over. There has never been a better time to embrace that,” writer/showrunner Kathleen Robertson said in a statement. “My goal was to subvert this story and come at if from a place of both wonder and corruption, through the eyes of two complex female perspectives.”
When Lou Simms (Shipka) starts her internship at Fountain Pictures, she seems like a naïve Hollywood newcomer, awestruck by the studio’s notorious CEO, Joyce Holt (Diane Kruger). In truth, Lou has done extensive research on Joyce and landing this internship was no happy accident. As Lou’s obsession grows, she will do anything to get close to her idol.
“Hollywood can be as cutthroat as it is glamorous,” said Colin Davis, Roku’s head of original scripted programming. “‘Swimming With Sharks’ does not hold back in showcasing the complex, ego driven, and ambition fueled pursuits in one’s attempts to ‘make it’ in a town riddled with more broken dreams than success stories. Kathleen and the talented teams behind and in front of the camera have delivered!”
The series will feature six 30-minute episodes and will air exclusively for free on The Roku Channel in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. The drama also stars Donald Sutherland, Thomas Dekker, Finn Jones, Erica Alexander, Ross Butler and Gerardo Celasco.
“We’re excited to bring ‘Swimming With Sharks’ to television audiences,” added Lionsgate Television Group SVP Jocelyn Sabo. “It has the perfect ingredients for a platform defining premium series — a gripping story, an incredible cast and the ability to connect with viewers. We are delighted to work with Roku once again on another amazing Roku Original.
The series is directed by Tucker Gates, with Chris Cowles, Stephen Israel, Jay Cohen, Dana Brunetti and Liz Destro serving as executive producers.