Riz Ahmed & Ben Karlin Teaming On Amazon Comedy Series About Struggling Actor

Riz Ahmed is to create, star in and produce an Amazon comedy series about a struggling actor on the cusp of landing the role of a lifetime with Modern Family EP Ben Karlin and Jax Media.

The untitled half-hour show is the first fruits of the deal struck between Prime Video and Oscar-nominee Ahmed’s Left Handed Films three years ago.

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Ahmed and Karlin will showrun the series, which follows Shah Latif, a struggling actor on the cusp of landing the role of a lifetime only to find himself thrust into an existential crisis and trippy conspiracy thriller at the same time.

The project is Ahmed’s first in TV since he won an Emmy for HBO’s The Night Of. He has since been Oscar nominated for Amazon’s Sound of Metal, in which he played a drummer who loses his hearing. He most recently produced a Channel 4 documentary series about British Asian history and boarded Wes Anderson’s new movie

“I’ve wanted to tell this story for a long time. It’s personal, bold, and a lot of fun,” said Ahmed. “It feels so good to be writing and creating it now with this incredible team.”

“Riz Ahmed is a gifted writer, actor, and producer, and we have been energized by his passion,” added Vernon Sanders, head of television, Amazon MGM Studios. “Led by Riz and the hilarious Ben Karlin, and guided by Rola Bauer’s Pan-English team, this series is sure to delight our global Prime Video customers and make them laugh.”

Ahmed’s Left Handed struck a first look deal with Amazon in 2021, at which point it hired former AMC exec Allie Moore to oversee production and development.

The show is executive produced by Ahmed and Moore for Left Handed, and Jake Fuller on behalf of Jax Media. Ben Karlin will executive produce and is showrunning with Ahmed. Roopesh Parekh (Willow, His Dark Materials) will also serve as executive producer. The series is produced by Jax Media and Amazon MGM Studios.

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