The e-retail giant made a lot of great-sounding entertainment deals over the last few months including agreements to stream shows from Viacom, NBCUniversal, and PBS — and to greenlight original shows that it will begin to offer later this year. …
The agreement provides Amazon with “hundreds of TV shows and thousands of TV episodes” including “a collection of TV shows that customers won’t find on any other digital video subscription service,” the companies say. But it’s especially interesting because it comes days after Viacom’s streaming carriage agreement with Netflix expired. Although execs said last week that they’re still negotiating, Netflix made it clear that it now favors deals that would give it exclusive access to programming. “We valued [Viacom's] content for sure, we just disagreed about the value of the content,” Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told investors at the Nomura U.S. Media & Telecom Summit. “We’re into a whole new space about what people are watching and what it’s worth.” But Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told the same gathering that he doesn’t want to be tied down. “There isn’t a player or potential player doesn’t come by our door and we work with all of them.” Streaming, he added, “is a continuing good overall opportunity for us and any growth opportunity for us.” Viacom shares are up about 2% in early trading. Here’s today’s release:
SEATTLE—(NASDAQ: AMZN)—May 22, 2013—Today, Amazon Publishing announces Kindle Worlds, the first commercial publishing platform that will enable any writer to create fan fiction based on a range of original stories and characters and earn royalties for doing so. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. Television Group’s Alloy Entertainment division for its New York Times best-selling book series Gossip Girl, by Cecily von Ziegesar; Pretty Little Liars, by Sara Shepard; and Vampire Diaries, by L.J. Smith; and plans to announce more licenses soon. Through these licenses, Kindle Worlds will allow any writer to publish authorized stories inspired by these popular Worlds and make them available for readers to purchase in the Kindle Store.
CW’s ‘Amazon’ Pilot Redeveloped With New Writer, Net Eyes ‘The 100′ & ‘Carrie Diaries’ For Limited Run, Mulls Return To Comedy
She may rise again. The Wonder Woman origin drama Amazon is in active redevelopment at the CW. The project was originally written by Allan Heinberg last season. Despite doing some preliminary casting on the lead while the script was still being written, the network ultimately didn’t give it a pilot order, instead rolling it to off-season. A new writer, Heroes alum Aron Eli Coleite, was brought in. Now “we’re waiting for the script to come in,” CW president Mark Pedowitz said following the network’s upfront presentation today. “We do not want to produce something that doesn’t work for that character. It is the trickiest of DC characters to get done.” If the network likes the script, the project will be ordered as an off-cycle pilot. As for The Selection, it is “unlikely” the property will be re-visited again after two failed pilots, the second of which came close to a series pickup, CW brass said.
Related: CW New Series First Looks: Video
The numbers are mixed but encouraging enough to lift Amazon shares about 1.4% in after-market trading. The e-retailer generated $82M in net income, -36.9% vs the period last year, on revenues of $16.1B, +21.9%. Analysts expected revenues to …
Distributor Sony Pictures Home Entertainment isn’t talking yet. But the basic story is right there on Amazon: It’s taking pre-orders for the first season of the 13-episode series produced by Media Rights Capital and starring Kevin Spacey that …
‘The Good Wife’ Off-Network Rights Sell To Amazon, Hulu, Hallmark Channel, Broadcast Syndication For Nearly $2M An Episode
In an arrangement that reflects the changing off-network options for serialized dramas, CBS’ The Good Wife has been sold in a complex multi-window deal that involves two streaming partners, Amazon and Hulu; a basic cable network, Hallmark Channel; and broadcast syndication, for what I hear is a combined license fee of nearly $2 million per episode. “This is an off-network model for a unique serialized show in today’s television ecosystem,” said Leslie Moonves, President and CEO, CBS Corp.
Under the deal, the first three seasons of The Good Wife will become available on Amazon Prime tomorrow, with the current Season 4 coming later this year. Hulu Plus will roll out previous seasons of the show in September 2013, while Hallmark Channel will begin airing The Good Wife in January 2014. A weekend broadcast syndication run is scheduled to begin in September 2014, with the series sold in 85% of the country, including the CBS O&Os, in a barter deal.
SEATTLE–Feb. 28, 2013– (NASDAQ: AMZN) – Amazon.com, Inc. today announced a content licensing agreement with Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (NYSE: SNI) that will make Prime Instant Video a subscription home to hundreds of episodes from past seasons of hit TV shows from the Scripps family of brands: HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Travel Channel.
On the heels of CBS closing a deal with Amazon for summer series Under The Dome, whose episodes will be available on the streaming service four days after their premiere, the two companies today announced …
The pact was built into CBS‘ decision to greenlight the serialized drama from Steven Spielberg and Stephen King based on King’s novel for next summer. It establishes an in-season, online subscription-video-on-demand (SVOD) window for the show on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service, which will become the exclusive online subscription home for Under The Dome.
Amazon Prime members will have unlimited streaming of all the series’ episodes four days after their initial broadcast on CBS. The unusual deal helps CBS offset the cost and was key for picking up an elaborate serialized drama for the off-season. There had been speculation that Under The Dome would be made available on Amazon after 24 episodes had aired. But Scott Koondel, Chief Corporate Content Licensing Officer for CBS Corp., explains the rationale behind the window’s length. “With this innovative agreement, we’re giving fans more options to watch and stay current with this serialized series, and doing so in a way that protects the Television Network’s C3 advertising window,” he said.
EXCLUSIVE: Amazon Studios continues to ramp up its original slate. I hear the original movie and series production arm of Amazon.com is finalizing a deal for a pilot order to comedy Betas, produced by feature producer Michael London (Sideways) via Groundswell Prods. The company also has been hammering out a license fee deal with Sony Pictures TV for Zombieland, a comedy pilot based on the 2009 movie, which is already actively casting. They would join the six comedy pilots Amazon Studios announced in December, which are in various stages of production and have attracted talent of the caliber of John Goodman and Bebe Neuwirth. The company yesterday gave the green light for five children’s pilots.
EXCLUSIVE: John Goodman is set to star in Alpha House, one of Amazon Studios’ first six original comedy pilots. Written by Oscar nominee and Pulitzer-Prize winner Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Alpha House follows four senators who live together in a rented house in Washington DC. Goodman will play North Carolina Senator Gil John Biggs, a large man with large appetites. His cranky sense of entitlement comes from years of being revered as a successful basketball coach, but when the Duke basketball coach decides to run against him, he finds his Senate seat in jeopardy. Amazon has been going for a mix of big TV names and up-and-coming young talent for its comedy pilots. Frasier and Cheers alumna Bebe Neuwirth was recently cast in Browsers. Since a story about Democratic politicians Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, George Miller and Bill Delahunt sharing a rented house gained popularity several years ago, there have been several attempts to use the setup for a TV show. In 2010, ABC ordered a pilot for Greg Malins’ comedy Freshmen, executive produced by Arianna Huffington, which revolved around three newly-elected members of Congress who share a house together.
EXCLUSIVE: The CW just wrapped its pilot orders for this season with eight pickups, including planted The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals. Amazon was not among them, and I have learned that the network has decided to roll the Wonder Woman origin project to next season. Additionally, I hear the CW may order an off-cycle pilot, so Amazon may go into production sooner if the network is happy with the final script.
Amazon was the first project this development cycle to begin preliminary casting back in November when Warner Bros TV started exploring choices for the lead, Diana, while the script by Allan Heinberg was still being written. “We’re waiting to see the script and are busy casting Diana,” the CW president Mark Pedowitz said at TCA earlier this month. In the end, I hear the CW brass felt the project needed more time.
This could allay some doubts as to whether Amazon has the stomach to keep competing in the tablet wars vs Apple’s iPad and a growing fleet of products powered by Google’s Android operating system. The e-retailer says today that …
UPDATE: No reason for panic, Wonder Woman fans. While the warrior princess character is listed on the breakdown as Iris, not Diana, I’ve confirmed that, as writer Allan Heinberg hinted on Twitter after I posted the story, that is just a code name the producers used to avoid attention. So much for that…
PREVIOUS: To all actresses in their early to mid-20s who are 5’8″ or taller — you may be TV’s next Wonder Woman. I’ve learned that Warner Bros TV, the studio behind the CW drama project Amazon, has hired casting directors Barbara Fiorentino and Danielle Aufiero to launch a search for the lead in the project in anticipation of a potential pilot pickup. A breakdown for the role has been released, providing a glimpse into the Tarzan-like fish-out-of-water premise and the central character of the Wonder Woman origin story written by Allan Heinberg that chronicles the female superhero’s life as a young Amazonian, before she becomes a warrior princess with super powers.