The Watchman: Amazon Finds ‘Love’ in Upstate New York; King-Sized Story Behind Epix’s ‘Chapelwaite’

'Modern Love' on Amazon Prime Video
'Modern Love' on Amazon Prime Video (Image credit: Amazon Content Services LLC)

Season two of Modern Love premieres on Amazon Prime Video Aug. 13. There are eight episodes in this anthology series, inspired by the New York Times column of the same name. Minnie Driver, Kit Harington and Anna Paquin are in the cast. 

The season was shot in Albany, Schenectady and Troy, New York, and internationally in London and Dublin. COVID prevented the producers from shooting in New York City, so they headed upstate. 

“We couldn’t get a big enough soundstage to keep the air flowing and do all the COVID protocol,” said John Carney, executive producer. 

COVID caused some headaches, but Carney is not complaining. “I wasn’t driving a bus in Manhattan in March or April of 2020,” he said, “or having [to do] a real job.”

Speaking of COVID, episodes include one where Lucy Boynton and Harington play characters who meet on a train in Ireland, and promise to meet again on the train two weeks later, without exchanging numbers. Then a pandemic hits. 

“I love things on trains,” Carney said, mentioning Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train and Linklater’s Before Sunset.

Carney loves that all the episodes, and the column they’re inspired by, are based on real events. “Sometimes the make-y up-y nature of a TV show — enough already,” he said. “We have an extra magic in this. This all comes back to, these things happened.”

Chapelwaite on Epix

Chapelwaite on EPIX (Image credit: Epix)

Epix premieres drama Chapelwaite Aug. 22. Based on the Stephen King short story Jerusalem’s Lot, it is about a sea captain who relocates his three children to a seemingly sleepy town in Maine after the death of his wife. The town is not so sleepy. 

Exec producer Donald De Line met with King agent Rand Holston about adapting a King yarn, and the agent suggested Jerusalem’s Lot. “It had all the basic elements I was looking for,” De Line said, including a “great setup” and “hostile terrain.”

“The classic elements of a great Stephen King story,” he added. 

Adrien Brody, also an executive producer, plays Captain Charles Boone and Emily Hampshire portrays family governess Rebecca. De Line noted how Brody can say a lot without speaking. “He doesn’t have to say many words to do a lot of storytelling,” said the producer. 

The 10-episode series was shot in Nova Scotia, which stands in nicely for Maine. “Someone said, let’s go scout Nova Scotia, and I thought everyone had lost their minds,” De Line said. “But physically, they’re extremely similar. The countryside is beautiful and works so well for Maine.”

That region of the world was successful in managing COVID outbreaks. The cast and crew spent quarantine time in their hotel rooms, then got to work. “It was like being in a magic  bubble,” De Line said. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.