The Romanoffs

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The Romanoffs
Created byMatthew Weiner
Directed byMatthew Weiner
Opening theme"Refugee"
by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Semi Chellas
  • Matthew Weiner
CinematographyChristopher Manley
  • Chris Figler
  • Christopher Gay
  • Tamara Meem
  • Jonny Converse
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time63–88 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkAmazon Video
Picture format4K (UHDTV)
Original releaseOctober 12, 2018 (2018-10-12) – present (present)
External links
Official website

The Romanoffs is an American anthology drama web television series created, written, produced, and directed by Matthew Weiner that premiered on October 12, 2018 on Amazon Video.


The Romanoffs is a contemporary series "set around the globe, centering on separate stories about people who believe themselves to be descendants of the Russian royal family."[1]

Cast and characters[edit]


No.Title [2]Directed byWritten byOriginal release date [2]
1"The Violet Hour"Matthew WeinerMatthew WeinerOctober 12, 2018 (2018-10-12)
In Paris, American Greg Moffat and his girlfriend Sophie visit Greg's elderly aunt Anushka La Charnay after she suffers a heart attack. Greg, secretly hoping that Anushka - who believes that she is a descendant of the Romanov family - will die soon so that he and Sophie can inherit her apartment, hires her a caregiver. The caregiver, a Muslim named Hajar, irritates the xenophobic Anushka, who believes that Hajar is planning to poison her. Despite this, the two grow close over time, realizing that they both see themselves as outsiders and have both suffered great hardships in their lives. Anushka decides to leave Hajar the apartment in her will. In an attempt to convince Hajar to give up the apartment, Greg takes her to dinner and they end up spending the night together at the hotel. Hajar leaves her job with Anushka, and Greg hires a new Russian caregiver. Two months later, Hajar reveals to Greg that she is pregnant. A furious Sophie leaves, but Greg himself is happy about the pregnancy. Upon learning about Hajar, Anushka is delighted, claiming that all she ever wanted was for the Romanov line to continue.
2"The Royal We"Matthew WeinerMichael Goldbach and Matthew WeinerOctober 12, 2018 (2018-10-12)
Michael Romanoff - who believes himself to be a Romanov - and his wife Shelley attend therapy to attempt to salvage their struggling marriage. Shelley, who fails to understand Michael's obsession with the Romanov legacy, learns of a cruise for people who believe themselves to be Romanov descendants. Meanwhile, Michael attends jury duty where he meets British expat Michelle, to whom he takes an instant liking. Michael deliberately brings the jury deliberation to a gridlock, forcing Shelley to go on the cruise alone and giving him an entire long weekend to pursue Michelle. Michael and Michelle have sex in a family lakehouse - where Michael previously told Shelley he hated going - while Shelley goes on the cruise. Pretending to be a Romanov, she meets a man but decides not to have sex with him, unable to cheat on Michael. Eventually, Michael becomes obsessed with Michelle and begins stalking her, leading to her breaking things off with him. When Shelley returns, Michael grows to despise her and hatches a plan to murder her. His attempt fails, and Shelley maces him. After she leaves, Michael lies on the ground, dejected.
3"House of Special Purpose"Matthew WeinerMary Sweeney and Matthew WeinerOctober 19, 2018 (2018-10-19)
Actress Olivia Rogers arrives in Austria to star as Alexandra Feodorovna in a miniseries based on the history of the Romanov family. Olivia clashes with the director Jacqueline Gerard, who claims to be a Romanov, finding her abusive. The crew begin acting in unhinged ways, such as one actor sexually assaulting Olivia on set after she slept with him the previous night. The only person that Olivia trusts is her smooth-talking agent Bob, who convinces her to ignore the others’ behaviour and remain committed to the project. After refusing to be a part of the film any longer, she gets lost in the forest after wandering off set, and is surprised to find Bob, who tells her to pack. While waiting for Bob to pick her up from the hotel, Olivia is kidnapped by the crew (dressed as Bolshevik soldiers) and taken to a basement with the other actors playing members of the Romanov family. The actors are seemingly slaughtered by gunfire; however, Olivia dies of fright before she is shot. It is revealed that the entire production of the miniseries has been an elaborate ruse, attempting to unhinge Olivia to ensure she gives a realistic performance.
4"Expectation"Matthew WeinerSemi ChellasOctober 26, 2018 (2018-10-26)
The episode takes place over a single day in New York City. Julia Wells, a compulsive liar, and her wealthy husband Eric have a daughter named Ella who is heavily pregnant. Julia meets with Ella for breakfast, where she expresses anger that Ella’s husband is out of the country even though Ella is past her due date. It is revealed through flashbacks that Ella is not actually Eric’s daughter, but the product of an affair that Julia had with Eric’s best friend Daniel. It is also revealed that Daniel is a Romanov historian, who appeared in “The Royal We” as the benefactor of the Romanov cruise, and who wrote a novel that the inspired the miniseries in “House of Special Purpose”. Over the course of the day, Julia’s memories of her affair with Daniel grow stronger and she ponders the decision she made to choose Eric over Daniel. After a tense meeting with Daniel, Julia becomes drunk and forgets that she was supposed to pick up Ella’s in-laws from the airport. Julia is hospitalized for gallstones and is visited by Ella, who reveals she knows about the affair. Julia calls Daniel and the two comfort each other.
5"Bright and High Circle"Matthew WeinerKriss Turner Towner and Matthew WeinerNovember 2, 2018 (2018-11-02)
Katherine Ford, a professor of Russian literature and a professed Romanov descendant, is close friends with David Patton, a homosexual piano teacher who taught all three of Katherine’s children. One day, Katherine learns to her shock that David has been accused of inappropriate behaviour (the nature of which is not revealed) by one of his students. Finding herself unable to believe the accusations, Katherine resolves to seek the truth by speaking to her children to gain an insight into who David really is. Her son Henry, who is himself homosexual, believes that the accusation is false, and that David is being targeted due to classism and homophobia. David was previously highly regarded among the parents of his students and was well-liked. Katherine uncovers which darken her opinion of him, notably that he often breaks into his client’s houses when they are not home, lies about his past and makes inappropriate jokes to his students. Katherine begins to view David as being duplicitous and possibly a sexual predator. It is revealed that David was being accused of was purchasing alcohol for one of his students, which the student made up after being caught drinking.
6"Panorama"Matthew WeinerDan LeFranc and Matthew WeinerNovember 9, 2018 (2018-11-09)
7"End of the Line"Matthew WeinerTBANovember 16, 2018 (2018-11-16)
8"The One That Holds Everything"Matthew WeinerTBANovember 23, 2018 (2018-11-23)



On October 26, 2016, multiple news outlets reported that Amazon had won a bidding war between six different entities and had committed to a straight-to-series order for the series with a $70 million budget for an eight episode first season. The series was set to be written, directed, and produced by Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner in cooperation with The Weinstein Company.[3][4][5]

On August 29, 2017, the series' creative team was announced. The series’ collaborators include executive producer/writer Semi Chellas, co-executive producers Kriss Turner Towner, Blake McCormick, and Kathy Ciric, along with consulting producers/writers Andre Jacquemetton and Maria Jacquemetton. The series behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Christopher Manley, costume designers Janie Bryant and Wendy Chuck, production designers Henry Dunn and Christopher Brown, and hair and make-up designers Theraesa Rivers and Lana Horochowski. The casting team includes Carrie Audino, Laura Schiff, and Kendra Clark.[6]

On October 11, 2017, following reports of sexual abuse allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, Amazon announced that they were "reviewing their options" in regards to their relationship with The Weinstein Company.[7] They subsequently decided to sever all ties with the production company.[8]

On July 28, 2018, Amazon announced during the Television Critics Association's annual summer press tour that the series would premiere on October 12, 2018.[9]


From August to October 2017, a series of announcements revealed that Isabelle Huppert, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, Jack Huston, Amanda Peet, Marthe Keller, Aaron Eckhart, Corey Stoll, Andrew Rannells, Mike Doyle, JJ Feild, Janet Montgomery, Paul Reiser, and Diane Lane had been cast in the series.[10][11][12][13]

From March to August 2018, numerous guest cast members were announced. These included Noah Wyle, Hera Hilmar, Kathryn Hahn, Kerry Bishé, Jay R. Ferguson, Ben Miles, Mary Kay Place, Griffin Dunne, Cara Buono, Ron Livingston, Jon Tenney, Clea DuVall, Radha Mitchell, Hugh Skinner, Juan Pablo Castañeda, Emily Rudd, Adele Anderson, Annet Mahendru, Louise Bourgoin, Inès Melab, Michael O'Neill, and David Sutcliffe.[14][15][9][16]


Filming took place in Constanța, Romania from March 14 to March 18, 2018.[17][18]


Promotional poster.

On July 28, 2018, the first teaser trailer for the series was released.[9] On August 14, 2018, a second teaser trailer was released.[16] On August 29, 2018, a series of "first look" promotional photographs from the series were released alongside a full episode lineup of the series featuring episode titles, synopsis, airdates, and which actors will appear in which episode.[19] On September 12, 2018, the official trailer for the series was released.[20]


The series has been met with a mixed response from critics upon its premiere. On the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds a 49% approval rating, with an average rating of 5.59 out of 10 based on 53 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "Matthew Weiner's return to television is as handsomely made as it is ambitious and sprawling -- unfortunately, it's also fatally indulgent, asking for the utmost patience from audiences without a compelling incentive."[21] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the season a score of 56 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[22]


  1. ^ Stanhope, Kate (August 29, 2017). "Matthew Weiner Sets 'Mad Men' Reunion for Amazon Anthology 'The Romanoffs'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Shows A-Z - romanoffs, the on amazon |". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  3. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Fleming Jr, Mike (October 26, 2016). "'Mad Men's Matthew Weiner Returning To TV With Amazon Series From Weinstein Company". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  4. ^ Villarreal, Yvonne (October 26, 2016). "'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner will make his return to TV on Amazon - Los Angeles Times". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  5. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (October 26, 2018). "'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Sets TV Return With Amazon Anthology". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Petski, Denise (August 29, 2017). "'The Romanoffs': Matthew Weiner's Amazon Series Sets Creative Team; Includes 14 'Mad Men' Alum". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 11, 2017). "Amazon 'Reviewing Options' On TWC TV Series Amid Harvey Weinstein Scandal". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 14, 2017). "Amazon Severs Ties With TWC: Drops David O. Russell Series, Takes Over 'The Romanoffs'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Haring, Bruce (July 28, 2018). "'The Romanoffs': Amazon Sets Premiere Date, Unveils Teaser For Matt Weiner Series – TCA". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 4, 2017). "Matthew Weiner Recruits Isabelle Huppert & 'Mad Men' Alums For Amazon Anthology Series 'The Romanoffs'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  11. ^ Petski, Denise (August 9, 2017). "'The Romanoffs': Aaron Eckhart Joins Matthew Weiner's Amazon Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (September 15, 2017). "Matthew Weiner Adds Corey Stoll, Janet Montgomery, Paul Reiser, More To Amazon's 'The Romanoffs'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (October 31, 2017). "'The Romanoffs': Diane Lane Cast In Matthew Weiner's Amazon Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (March 6, 2018). "Noah Wyle to Star in CBS Racial Drama From Ava DuVernay, Greg Berlanti". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (June 26, 2018). "'Mortal Engines' Hera Hilmar Cast In Matt Weiner's 'The Romanoffs' At Amazon". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 26, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Ramos, Dino-Ray (August 14, 2018). "'The Romanoffs' Trailer: Everyone Is A Descendant From The Russian Royal Family In Amazon Anthology Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 14, 2018.
  17. ^ Predescu, Feri (March 14, 2018). "Serialul "The Romanoffs" se filmează la Constanța. Restricții de circulație în oraș". Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  18. ^ Gavrilas, Calin (March 14, 2018). "Restricţii de circulaţie în Constanţa pentru filmarea serialului „The Romanoffs"". Adevărul (in Romanian). Retrieved April 8, 2018.
  19. ^ Nemetz, Dave (August 29, 2018). "The Romanoffs: Amazon Reveals Episode Lineup for Matthew Weiner's Anthology — Plus, See First Photos". TVLine. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  20. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (September 12, 2018). "'The Romanoffs' Trailer: A Royal Bloodline Flows Through A Massive Cast Of Characters In Amazon Anthology". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  21. ^ "The Romanoffs: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  22. ^ "The Romanoffs: Season 1". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved October 19, 2018.

External links[edit]