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Amazon Prime hikes price

For the first time, Amazon is raising the price of its Prime free-shipping program for U.S. members — which includes access to the unlimited Prime Instant Video service. The cost is increasing from $79 to $99 per year. Current members will be charged $79 if their membership renews before April 17 and $99 if their membership renews on or after that date.

Announcing the change in a notice on their website, the company also noted that Amazon Student members can get Prime for $49. It added that the fee for Prime Fresh membership will remain unchanged at $299.

Though Amazon declined to give a reason for the prince increase, an influx of Prime Instant Video content would seem to be partially responsible. In addition to an increasing volume of original shows, the Prime library also includes exclusive streaming rights for programs like Downtown Abbey and Veronica Mars.

History's next miniseries will focus on Texas Rangers

History Channel has greenlit its next miniserie, which will star Bill Paxton, Brendan Fraser, Ray Liotta and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

The eight-hour series, dubbed Texas Rising, will premiere in 2015 and focus on the Texas Revolution against Mexico, which led to the rise of the Texas Rangers. Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields) will direct. Paxton (Hatfields & McCoys) will play Sam Houston, the father of Texas; Frasier (The Mummy) is Billy Anderson, a Texas Ranger with Comanche Indian ties; Liotta (Goodfellas) will play Lorca, an Alamo survivor seeking brutal revenge; and Morgan (Magic City) will play “Deaf” Smith, a deaf and grizzled veteran Texas Ranger with an advanced case of consumption.

Other cast members will include Thomas Jane (Hung) as James Wykoff, a homesteader who finds himself living in the middle of hostile Indian territory; Olivier Martinez (Unfaithful) as President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the tyrant dictator of Mexico; Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill)as Mirabeau Lamar, a spirited Texas soldier who helps win the battle of San Jacinto; Michael Rapaport (Justified) as Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a would-be deserter and coward turned hero; and Max Thieriot (Bates Motel) as Jack Hays, a volunteer freedom fighter who becomes the youngest Texas Ranger.

“The Texas Revolution is one of the most gut-wrenching and inspirational events in our history,” said History EVP and GM Dirk Hoogstra in a statement. “Doing the story justice will be a massive undertaking, and we’re excited to begin production with one of the best teams in the business.”

'Once Upon a Time' actress will eat brains on 'iZombie'

Tinkerbell has an, um, savory new role on the CW.

Rose McIver, who played the pixie-dust throwing fairy on ABC’s Once Upon a Time – and will also replace Kiernan Shipka in Lifetime’s Flowers in the Attic sequel – has been cast in the lead role of the CW pilot iZombie. Wait until you read what’s in store for her!

She’ll play Olivia “Liv” Moore, a “med student-turned-zombie who takes a job in the coroner’s office to gain access to the brains she must reluctantly eat to maintain her humanity,” according to The CW’s official description. “But with each brain Live consumes, she inherits the corpse’s memories. With the help of her medical examiner boss and a police detective, she solves homicide cases in order to quiet the disturbing voices in her head.”

The drama is based on characters from the DC Comics’s Vertigo imprint, created by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred, and was developed by Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars), Diane Ruggiero, Danielle Stokdyk, and Dan Etheridge.

'The Big Bang Theory' renewed for three more years

At this rate, maybe we will see a Sheldon-Amy wedding! CBS has renewed The Big Bang Theory through the 2016-17 season.

“Comedy is a big part of our schedule, and The Big Bang Theory is the biggest comedy force on television,” said CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler in a statement. “This multi-year deal further strengthens our network’s position for future seasons and marks another chapter in the great partnership CBS enjoys with Warner Bros. Television for delivering audiences the best in comedy. We’re proud to work with and showcase the incredible talents of Chuck Lorre, Steve Molaro and this amazing cast every week.”

TBBT has ranked as the No. 1 sitcom among viewers since the 2010-11 season and continues to hold the top spot in key demographics for the second straight year. It’s currently averaging  19.79 million viewers (up 4% versus last year),a 6.1 rating in adults 18-49, and a 7.8 in adults 25-54.

'Justified' postmortem: EP Graham Yost dissects 'Wrong Roads,' teases what's next

Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen this week’s episode of Justified — “Wrong Roads” written by Dave Andron and Leonard Chang, directed by Michael Dinner, and guest-starring Eric Roberts as a DEA agent/Ghost of Raylan Future — stop reading now. As he’ll do throughout the season, showrunner Graham Yost takes us inside the writers room. READ FULL STORY

'The Little Couple' teaser: Adoption complete? -- FIRST LOOK

In tonight’s episode of The Little Couple on TLC, the pair wraps up the adoption process of their 2-year-old daughter Zoey.

The trip has been a hit with fans: last week’s debut was the series highest-rated episode ever among women 25-54 (2.3) and viewers (3.9 million).  READ FULL STORY

'Believe' tops year-ago 'Hannibal' premiere

The omnipresent posters of the little blonde girl definitely helped to launch the Monday premiere of Believe, which gave NBC a huge boost in the timeslot versus what Hannibal did in April of 2013, according to Nielsen.

The drama earned a 2.7 rating in 18-49 — up 69 percent from Hannibal — and 10.7 million viewers after The Voice, which posted a 3.7 and 13.5 million viewers. It wasn’t enough, however, to help NBC (3.3) win the night. That pleasure went to ABC (3.4) and Juan Pablo.

The season finale of The Bachelor earned a 3.2/9 and 9.6 million, which was actually down 9% from last spring’s season finale. The real winner of the night was Bachelor: After the Final Rose, which posted a 3.8/11 and 11 million viewers. It also won the night in all of the female demos, mostly due to the fact that the next Bachelorette was announced. Yippee?

CBS and Fox tied for third. The Eye net aired How I Met Your Mother (2.7) followed by a repeat of 2 Broke Girls, an original of Mike & Molly (1.8), a repeat of Mom, and an original of Intelligence (1.3). Fox aired Bones (1.7) and The Following (1.5).

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Patrick Duffy recalls an old 'Dallas' line that tops this week's Lesser Prairie Chicken twist, teases what's ahead

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Spoiler alert! This week’s episode of Dallas saw John Ross (Josh Henderson) and Bobby (Patrick Duffy) each take bold steps in their battle over fracking at Southfork. In the end, even though John Ross had convinced the ranch hands that more money could be made in oil than cattle, Bobby managed to put a hold on John Ross’s drilling permit by informing the Sierra Club of a potentially endangered population of Lesser Prairie Chicken.

Asked how many takes it took him to get “Lesser Prairie Chicken” out, Duffy just laughs. “Once, in the old Dallas, we had the phrase, ‘Well, daddy, I think the whole herd’s got screwworm.’ And ‘screwworm’ did not come out of Larry’s and my mouth for about an hour. It’s one of those phrases. ‘Lesser Prairie Chicken’ is one of those phrases,” he says.

He admits the cast is also having fun with the frequent use of the term “fracking” this season. ”Especially off-camera,” he says. “If you think about Battlestar Galactica, ‘frak’ was the way they got around the censors.” (Yes, he is a BSG fan, and when he stopped by EW for an upcoming Pop Culture Personality Test, he showed us a photo of himself with Step by Step fan Katee Sackhoff on his phone to prove it. Check it out below.)  READ FULL STORY

Comcast/Sony deal lets Comcast subscribers watch Netflix shows

Comcast today announced that it has signed an agreement with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment to sell the studio’s titles through the Xfinity On Demand digital store. In the coming weeks, Xfinity TV customers will be able to purchase Sony Pictures movies and TV shows to own and access anytime on any device, kicking off with American Hustle, timed to the film’s DVD release. Additional Sony Pictures movie and TV titles that will be available for purchase in the coming weeks include Breaking Bad, as well as popular movies such as Captain Phillips, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, The Amazing Spider-Man and 21 Jump Street.

“Sony Pictures is pleased that this agreement brings significant titles to Comcast customers,” said Man Jit Singh, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment president, in a release. “We deeply value our relationship with Comcast and look forward to working closely with them to meet the needs of all audiences.”

Most excitingly for TV fans, the Comcast/Sony deal will allow Comcast subscribers to purchase episodes of Netflix shows, even if they don’t have a Netflix subscription. At $1.99 an episode, it’s not exactly a steal compared to a monthly Netflix subscription, but it’s another option for fans who want to keep up with Frank Underwood’s exploits on House of Cards.

Gene Simmons rocks 'CSI' -- EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK

From Family Jewels to inside the yellow tape: Gene Simmons will play himself on Wednesday’s episode of CSI.

The episode on CBS will involve a rock-and-roll-themed murder mystery. Simmons is questioned while holding a pair of tiny not-so-whiteys.

Here’s a peek: READ FULL STORY

'True Detective' finale hits ratings high

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson went out with a bang: Sunday’s finale of True Detective posted record ratings for HBO.

The final episode of the anthology averaged a series high of 3.5 million viewers — up over 50% from the premiere (2.3 million). Across three telecasts on Sunday, the series also hit a record 4.9 million viewers.

Season-to-date, the gross audience for the drama was 11 million viewers. True Detective represents HBO’s most-watched freshman series since Six Feet Under’s premiere in 2001 (11.4 million).

True Detective has already been picked up for another season. Creator Nic Pizzolatto told EW that he’s still fleshing out the idea but the basic idea is “hard women, bad men, and the secret occult history of the U.S. transportation system. I was well on my way in the writing but there’s been a lot noise and work around the end of the first season that got in the way.”

'Crisis' sneak peek: 'They want all of us' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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On March 16, NBC will premiere Crisis, the new drama starring Gillian Anderson, Dermot Mulroney, Lance Gross, and Rachael Taylor, which imagines what powerful parents can be convinced to do when their children are in danger. Below, watch a sneak peek of the ambush that sets the story in motion during a field trip for the students of Ballard High — the children of Washington, D.C.’s elite, among them the president’s son. READ FULL STORY

Josh Duhamel joins Vince Gilligan drama at CBS

Josh Duhamel has signed on to a new CBS drama pilot in the works from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan.

The ex-Vegas star will play Det. Milton Chamberlain in Battle Creek. His character is described as aa clean-cut, and humble FBI agent who heads from Detroit to Battle Creek to set up a satellite FBI office.”

Duhamel joins Dean Winters, Kal Penn, Janet McTeer, Edward Fordham Jr. and Aubrey Dollar  in the project that will be exec produced by Gilligan, David Shore, Mark Johnson and Bryan Singer.

Here’s the official log line of the promising drama: “When two detectives, FBI Special Agent Milton Chamberlain and Battle Creek PD, Det. Russ Agnew with very different world views are teamed up, they must answer the question: is cynicism, guile and deception enough to clean up the semi-mean streets of Battle Creek, Michigan in the face of a complete lack of resources; or is the exact opposite true – it takes naïveté, trust and a boatload of resources?”

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