Mia Healey (Shelby Goodkind), Erana James (Toni Shalifoe), Sarah Pidgeon (Leah Rilke)

That Dedication In The Wilds Season 2 Has An Emotional Backstory

The producer was very special to the show's team.

by Ani Bundel
Amazon Studios

The Wilds Season 2, Episode 1 covers Day 30 for the Dawn of Eve and Day 1 for the Twilight of Adam. On the girls’ side of the island, the action picks up exactly where Season 1 left off, with Rachel’s shark attack and Nora disappearing into the waves. On the boys’ side, it’s a retread of the girls’ first day, complete with one of the initial survivors not making it. But there’s also a curious postscript, a dedication to “Jamie” at the end of the episode. This in reference to Jamie Tarses, a producer on The Wilds who passed away.

Warning: Spoilers for The Wilds Season 2 follow. When The Wilds was first picked up at Prime Video in 2018, it was part of a move into YA programming for the streaming service, which up until then was best known for The Man In The High Castle and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. The series was ordered for a full season in 2019 with Susanna Fogel as director, Sarah Streicher as the series’ writer, and Tarses executive producing.

Although Fogel is known for hits like Booksmart and Streicher for her work on Marvel’s Daredevil, Tarses was the heavyweight on the production team. A TV veteran who started at NBC in the 1980s, her credits include Friends, Mad About You, Frasier, and NewsRadio. When she left NBC, she became the first female president of ABC Entertainment and one of the youngest ever to hold the title.

Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

After leaving ABC, she continued to executive produce, with a laundry list of series to her name, including The Wilds. The Prime Video surprise hit was the last show Tarses launched before she had a stroke in the fall of 2020, just a few weeks before Season 1’s debut. She never fully recovered, and she passed away in February 2021.

Filming for Season 2 of The Wilds began only a few weeks after Tarses’ passing. At the time, Streicher and The Wilds showrunner Amy B. Harris told Deadline the late producer, “would remain a part of the show she loved and helped so much as she will continue to be listed as an executive producer posthumously.” As Harris put it, “She has been a driving and important force in my life personally and as my partner on this show. There is not a day that goes by that Sarah, and I don’t think WWJT: What Would Jamie Think.”