News Briefs: Oh Snap, Netflix! Amazon and HBO Have Inked a Streaming Deal

By Tim Surette

Apr 24, 2014

OOOH NETFLIX AND CABLE LOOK OUT!!!

... Omar comin'! To Amazon! In what can definitely be considered a slap in the face to video-streaming giant Netflix and cable companies everywhere, HBO has partnered up with Amazon Prime to stream some of HBO's massive library at no extra charge to Amazon Prime customers. The deal goes into effect on May 21 and includes The SopranosThe WireDeadwood, Rome, Six Feet Under, Eastbound and Down, Enlightened, and Flight of the Conchords, as well as HBO's miniseries, original movies, documentaries, and comedy specials. Older seasons of current shows like Veep, Girls, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, and The Newsroom will become available at a later date. However, there's been no mention of Game of Thrones, True DetectiveSilicon Valley, or any past HBO series that've gone into syndication (Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Sex and the City), so there's definitely some picking and choosing going on. 

Of course, even without the big names, this is a HUGE deal for the future of television. HBO appears to understand the impact that streaming video could have on its future, and this could be the first step toward the network operating independently of cable providers. It also means lots more people are likely to cut the cord, which could result in à la carte television in the future. In other words, sell your Comcast stock. 

As for Netflix, well, it can't be too pleased, but as long as Amazon and Netflix continue their battle to become the country's premiere streaming video service, we all win. [HBO / Amazon via press release]


BUSINESS TIME

... Fox is tinkering with its schedule just a tad as Bones' current season comes to a close and 24: Live Another Day gets going. A Bones "encore" (business speak for "rerun") will now air on April 28, and the episode that was scheduled for that day will be pushed back to May 12. This move is probably intended to give Bones some extra momentum as it heads into its finale, since 24 is airing a two-hour premiere on May 5 and then it will be paired with Bones on May 12. The final two episodes of Bones will now air on May 12 and May 19. This pushes back the scheduled debut of MasterChef's fifth season to May 26. To summarize, Fox postponed Bones' penultimate episode for two weeks and pushed everything else back accordingly. [Fox via press release]

... J.K. Rowling's novel The Casual Vacancy will be adapted into a three-hour miniseries by HBO and BBC. The book is about a small town in England that isn't as idyllic as it seems on the outside... because everyone who lives there is a wizard! Okay, just kidding. It's actually about a town that's struggling with feuds between the rich and poor, young and old, and wizards and non-wizards. Well, the first two. Man, I really want this show to be about wizards. [Deadline]

... Netflix is taking its original programming global. The online-streaming service is producing its first Spanish-language series, a comedy set in the world of professional soccer. Gaz Alazraki, who directed the hit Mexican movie We Are the Nobles, will dribble the series to Netflix, and Nobles star Luis Gerardo Mendez will play a lead role. Look for 13 episodes sometime in 2015. [Variety]

... The producers of Breaking Amish are sticking with the idea that chaste people being tempted by the evils of the world makes for great television. They're teaming with Lifetime for The Sisterhood, a reality show that will follow five women as they decide whether or not to become nuns. And yes, some Catholic convent actually agreed to allow cameras into the building to record the ladies as they make the most important decision of their lives. [THR]

... Bravo has put All the Pretty Faces, a scripted drama with a tinge of science-fiction to it, into development. The series comes from executive producer Jennifer Garner (the -ennifer of Hollywood royalty Bennifer) and tells the tale of two warring families in Half Moon Bay, California who are... immortal! DUN DUN! But when a member of one of the families dies, they're like, "What?!" and then they have to work together to figure some things out. [Bravo via press release]

... VH1 has once again canceled Best Week Ever, its pop-culture show with a multitude of comedian hosts. The series launched in 2004 but was canceled in 2010, only to be resurrected in 2013 and then canceled today. [Deadline]

... Comedy Central has ordered eight episodes of This Is Not Happening, a standup show hosted by Ari Shaffir and filmed at a strip club in Los Angeles. [Deadline]



CASTING NEWS

... Saturday Night Live is winding down its season with a hottie and a guy who likes to put his wiener in boxes. Charlize Theron will make her second appearance as host in the May 10 episode, with The Black Keys providing the tunes. The week after that, former SNL-er Andy Samberg—now of the Golden Globe-winning comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine—returns to 30 Rock to host the season finale, with St. Vincent playing the music. [NBC via press release]


SAD TRAGIC ACCIDENT NEWS

... Eric Hill, a contestant on the upcoming season of The Bachelorette, died today of injuries resulting from a paragliding accident on Sunday. The accident occurred independently of the show, and Hill had already completed filming his part on the show. [THR]


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  • MarlboroMagpi Apr 24, 2014

    More people can watch The Wire is always good news !

  • SinspaW Apr 24, 2014

    This deal is bad news from everybody really. The rise of Amazon Prime means that we're heading towards a future where the average joe will have to pick between one service or the other. This may be one of the rare cases where a (Netflix's) monopoly would've been better for the general public. All the good shows in one place... well, that's over now.

  • JamieBlumenfe Apr 24, 2014

    Noooooo! I was so happy for Best Week Ever's comeback - so many of their talent have ended up with great careers too.

  • JT_Kirk Apr 24, 2014

    Ari Shaffir killed it last week on Comedy Underground with Dave Attell, but I have to wonder why Comedy Central is giving him a show that sounds somewhat similar to their recently-launched Comedy Underground. Still, it's nice to see the network putting focus back on standup comedy when the last few years have relied so heavily on reruns of shitty movies - lookin' at you, Hot Rod... literally looking at you, because you're on again right fuckin' now.

  • rye06p Apr 24, 2014

    Disappointed HBO did the deal with Amazon. I'm not a fan of Amazon Prime and much prefer Netflix. Amazon securing HBO streaming is not enough for me to switch to Amazon or fork out more money for both. I'll be sticking with Netflix.

  • ludoTV Apr 24, 2014

    Speaking of NETFLIX... The unkillable The Killing is going to be back for its final and short season on Aug 1st ... How come this amazing show doesn't have a community? Unless it is hiding somewhere under Holder's XXXL sized hoodie

  • dodge_hickey Apr 24, 2014

    Man, I just read 24 in that Bones/FOX paragraph. HURRY UP MAY 5TH DAMMMIIIITTTT!!!!

  • MightyMad Apr 24, 2014

    All I got from this post: a reminder that the Black Keys are coming up soon with a new album. Thanks Tim!

  • ben45tpy Apr 24, 2014

    Smart move for HBO to go with Amazon seeing that Netflix is one of its biggest competitors in original programming.

  • No1Slayerette Apr 24, 2014

    I had been wondering what had happened to The Casual Vacancy adaption.

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