Riz Ahmed Lands Amazon Comedy Series 5

Riz Ahmed is returning to television — both in front of and behind the camera.

Amazon’s Prime Video has ordered a comedy series created by and starring Ahmed. The Oscar winner will play a struggling actor named Shah Latif, who’s the cusp of landing a breakthrough role when he finds himself thrust into a full-blown existential crisis and trippy conspiracy thriller all at the same time.

The Daily Show and Modern Family alum Ben Karlin will serve as co-showrunner alongside Ahmed for the currently untitled, eight-episode series. Jax Media and Amazon MGM Studios, where Ahmed’s Left Handed banner has a first-look deal, are producing.

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

Added Vernon Sanders, head of television for Amazon MGM Studios, “Riz Ahmed is a gifted writer, actor, and producer, and we have been energized by his passion. 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 won an Oscar in 2022 for best live-action short film for The Long Goodbye and was nominated for best actor in 2021 for Sound of Metal. He also won an Emmy in 2017 for his lead role in HBO’s limited series The Night Of.

The Prime Video series will be Ahmed’s first regular TV role since The Night Of (he had a recurring part on Netflix’s The OA and guest-starred on Girls, earning an Emmy nod for the latter). He has roles in Wes Anderson’s The Phoenician Scheme and a contemporary adaptation of Hamlet, in which he plays the title role, on deck.

Ahmed Left Handed’s Allie Moore are executive producing the Prime Video series with Karlin, Jake Fuller of Jax Media and Roopesh Parekh. The show’s writers are Ahmed, Dipika Guha (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Black Monday), Prashanth Venkataramanujam (Patriot Act), Karen Joseph Adcock (The Bear, Atlanta), Azam Mahmood (Industry, Ramy), and novelist Fatima Farheen Mirza.  

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