EntertainmentAmazon's bold bet: 'Cross' renewed before debut shakes up TV

Amazon's bold bet: 'Cross' renewed before debut shakes up TV

Aldis Hodge as the titular Alex Cross in the mysterious Amazon series
Aldis Hodge as the titular Alex Cross in the mysterious Amazon series
Images source: © Press materials
2:39 PM EDT, May 1, 2024

Situations like this are rare. While announcements about continuing hit movies and series are commonplace in the entertainment industry, it's unusual for projects that haven’t even premiered to receive such news. This is precisely the situation with the first season of the Amazon-backed "Cross" series.

Amazon announced its plan to execute the project in 2022. The series was to be based on the extensive saga of 32 crime novels by James Patterson, featuring the titular character Alex Cross. Cross is an African American detective in the Metropolitan Police Department and a father who combats threats to his family and Washington City.

The book series has inspired three film adaptations. The first was "Kiss the Girls" in 1997, directed by Gary Fleder and starring Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, and Brian Cox. This was followed by "Along Came a Spider" in 2001, with Freeman and Monica Potter, and "Alex Cross" in 2012, featuring Tyler Perry. These adaptations offered a chance to explore the story in a slightly more liberal manner, much to the delight of thriller enthusiasts.

Amazon commissions a second season of "Cross" before the first premieres

It is no longer a surprise when platforms decide to continue a series despite the artistic shortcomings of its first installment if the viewership ratings are high. This phenomenon was observed with the animated series Velma, one of the lowest-rated series yet considered a peculiar success because harsh reviews piqued viewers' curiosity.

With "Cross," viewers haven't had the opportunity to form an opinion. After over two years in production, the first season hasn’t been premised. Ben Watkins, known for his work on "Burn Notice" and "Hand of God," oversees the project. Aldis Hodge, with roles in "Straight Outta Compton," "Hidden Figures," and "One Night in Miami...," leads the cast.

The first season’s cast also includes Ryan Eggold from "New Amsterdam Hospital," Isaiah Mustafa of "It Chapter Two," Alona Tal from "Hand of God," Johnny Ray Gill, Eloise Mumford from the Grey trilogy, and Siobhan Murphy of "Spotlight." The second season will feature Wes Chatham of "Star Wars: Ahsoka," Matthew Lillard from "Scooby-Doo" and "Good Girls," and Jeanine Mason of "Roswell, New Mexico." The premiere date for this enigmatic Amazon series remains a mystery.

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