Amazon's 'The Romanoffs' is a classic TV anthology series

This image released by Amazon Studios shows Kerry Bishe in a scene from "The Romanoffs," premiering on Oct. 12. (Jan Thijs/Amazon Studios via AP)

This image released by Amazon Studios shows Kerry Bishe in a scene from "The Romanoffs," premiering on Oct. 12. (Jan Thijs/Amazon Studios via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ambitious, lavishly produced television series are routine in the era of big-spending streaming platforms.

But the latest entry, Amazon's "The Romanoffs," tests viewers with its classic TV format.

It's an anthology series made up of eight self-contained episodes, a contrast with the season-long narratives of other recent anthologies including "American Crime Story."

The element connecting the tales of "The Romanoffs" is the ancestral link that its main characters claim to the Russian imperial family assassinated in the early 20th century.

The first two episodes debut Friday, with Aaron Eckhart in "The Violet Hour" and "The Royal We" with Corey Stoll and Kerry Bishe.