Gritty, psychological scripted drama “Swimming With Sharks,” starring Kiernan Shipka and Diane Kruger, will debut on The Roku Channel this April. The leads were previously announced back in February 2020, when the series was previously under Quibi. Donald Sutherland, Ross Butler, Thomas Dekker, Finn Jones, Erica Alexander and Gerardo Celasco also star alongside Shipka and Kruger.
“Swimming With Sharks” will feature six half-hour episodes. Kruger (“In the Fade”) will play Joyce Holt, studio head of Fountain Pictures, while Shipka (“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” “Mad Men”) will play Joyce’s intern, Lou Simms, who develops an extreme obsession with her boss. The show follows the great undertakings Lou — who is anything but a naive newcomer to the industry — will go to get closer to Joyce. The show is inspired by George Huang’s original 1994 comedy of the same name about the Hollywood studio system, starring Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes, Benicio del Toro, Jerry Levine, T.E. Russell and Roy Dotrice.
“Historically, Hollywood has always represented reinvention, rebirth. Starting over. There has never been a better time to embrace that” said showrunner and creator Kathleen Robertson in a statement. “My goal was to subvert this story and come at it from a place of both wonder and corruption, through the eyes of two complex female perspectives. Their performances are quite extraordinary. Nobody will ever see Kiernan Shipka as ‘Don Draper’s daughter’ ever again.”
“Swimming With Sharks,” which hails from Lionsgate Television, is written and showrun by Robertson and directed by Tucker Gates. Chris Cowles, Liz Destro, Stephen Israel, Jay Cohen, and Dana Brunetti executive produce.
“Hollywood can be as cutthroat as it is glamorous,” added 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.”
The scripted show will air exclusively for free on The Roku Channel, which was launched in 2017.