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Tag: Amazon (1-10 of 19)

Amazon greenlights new pilot 'The Cosmopolitans,' starring Adam Brody and Chloe Sevigny

Amazon Studios continues to curate original programming featuring big-name stars with the announcement that it has greenlit two new pilots: the half-hour dramatic comedy The Cosmopolitans and the hour-long drama Hand of God. READ FULL STORY

Amazon unveils Fire TV, a streaming device to rival Apple TV and Chromecast

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Amazon wants its consumers to keep their media streaming all in the family.

The online behemoth unveiled Fire TV on Wednesday, the company’s own device set to rival Apple TV, Chromecast, and Roku in the online streaming game. That’s right — you can now watch an Amazon original series, exclusive to Amazon Prime Instant Video, via Amazon hardware.

Fire TV retails for $99, the same cost as Apple TV (Chromecast, meanwhile, is $35, while Roku starts at $49.99). For the price tag, you get access to Amazon’s catalog of more than 200,000 movies and TV shows, with even more titles available to Prime members (who pay a soon-to-be $99 annual subscription fee). Fire TV owners can also access other subscription streaming services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, on the device. READ FULL STORY

Amazon picks up six pilots, second season of 'Alpha House'

The Amazon original Alpha House garnered over 6,000 five-star reviews during its first season, and it’s not stopping now: Amazon announced today that the political comedy is getting a second season.

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Dana Delany cast in Amazon's drama pilot 'Hand of God'

Two-time Emmy winner and former Body of Proof star Dana Delany has been cast in a leading role as Crystal Harris in Amazon Studio’s drama pilot Hand of God.

The studio’s description of the pilot: Hand of God centers on the powerful Judge Pernell (Ron Perlman, Sons of Anarchy) a hard-living, law-bending married man (to protective wife Crystal Harris) with a high-end call girl on the side, who has a religious awakening. He begins having visions and hearing voices through his ventilator-bound son that could be God speaking to him.

The script is by Ben Watkins (Burn Notice) and will be directed by Marc Forster (World War Z) — both will also serve as executive producers, alongside Perlman and Brian Wilkins.

Lawsuits claim Amazon Prime gouged customers on items with free shipping

That “free shipping” perk of your Amazon Prime membership might not be such a great deal after all. Two separate lawsuits recently filed against Amazon claim the “world’s largest online retailer” encourages sellers to inflate prices on some products in order to cover shipping costs.

A $79 Amazon Prime membership (soon to cost $99)  is advertised as providing customers with free two-day shipping on “millions” of items. Alabama resident Marcia Burke accused Amazon of encouraging third-party vendors to “conceal the shipping charges in the price of the product,” according to her lawsuit filed last Friday in federal court in Seattle.

The suit gives this example: If an item regularly sells for $10 with $3.99 shipping, Amazon suggests a vendor selling that product to a Prime member — someone who is getting “free shipping” — should charge $13.99 or higher. Prime-eligible products are highlighted on the website, and the suit claims, “[Amazon] provides these vendors priority by showing their items first in the Prime member’s product search results,” essentially duping those customers.

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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.

'The After': First look at the upcoming apocalypse pilot from 'The X-Files' creator Chris Carter

Call it the Apopcalypse: Pop culture’s continuing fascination with the end of the world as we know it. The latest work of epic eschatology is The After, a new mid-apocalyptic pilot from Chris Carter, the man behind shows like The X-Files and Millennium. The show will debut as part of Amazon Studios’ second-ever pilot season—with an exact premiere date still TBA—and viewers will get to decide whether they want a full season to find out what brought human civilization to a grinding halt. It looks a bit Lost-y in how it keeps most of its plot points in a mystery box, as eight (possibly connected) strangers are trapped together following an unexplained event. Check out the trailer below. READ FULL STORY

Amazon denies plans to launch live-TV streaming service -- UPDATED

UPDATE: Amazon has denied reports that it is in the very early stages of developing a service that would enable paid subscribers to stream live TV channels that are currently offered through cable and satellite providers.

“We continue to build selection for Prime Instant Video and create original shows at Amazon Studios, but we are not planning to license television channels or offer a pay-TV service,” a spokesperson for Amazon said in a statement to EW.

Earlier, a report by the Wall Street Journal claimed that Amazon had already met with three major entertainment companies about licensing the television channels they offer.

Even though Amazon is apparently out of this particular quest, others — like Sony and Google Inc. — continue to publicly explore the opportunity to bring live TV to the streaming audience. But, WSJ pointed out, all face an uphill battle as carrier fees are a major moneymaker for big media companies who license their channels.

Sandra Oh ditches the scrubs for 'Betas' guest role -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS

All this time, Cristina Yang had a 20-something daughter?!

Okay, not really. Still, after 10 seasons on Grey’s Anatomy, it’s still a little jarring to see Sandra Oh in street clothes — and even more jarring to learn that soon, she’ll be playing someone’s mom. (Meredith, of course, probably encouraged her to take the part. Because Meredith and Cristina are real, right?)

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Amazon re-introduces 'Alpha House,' explains distribution strategy -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

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Amazon enters the original programming game Nov. 15, when the first few episodes of Alpha House — a foul-mouthed political comedy from the mind of Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau — officially premiere on the retailer’s main site. The series stars John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Matt Malloy, and Clark Johnson as four Republican senators who share the same D.C. rental. Bill Murray makes a memorable cameo in Alpha‘s pilot, already available for free viewing on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video; future episodes will feature even more boldfaced names, including Cynthia Nixon and Wanda Sykes as a pair of formidable Democratic senators, Amy Sedaris as the wife of Malloy’s Nevada senator, and Haley Joel Osment as a reporter from Reno.

Though Amazon’s chief rival Netflix famously follows a simultaneous release model for its original series, Amazon has a different distribution strategy. As of the 15th, the website will offer the first three episodes of Alpha for free. Subsequent episodes will be released week by week — and available only to Prime Instant Video subscribers.

Why stretch out distribution in this manner? “Releasing all episodes at once delays launch and doesn’t allow customers to binge view any sooner,” Amazon Studios head Roy Price explains to EW via email. “Also, it makes it hard to talk about a show with your friends because you never know how many episodes they’ve watched — and that’s part of the fun of a TV show. On the latter point, at first it was a hunch but then we confirmed it by looking at social conversation on Twitter and Facebook: shows that are binge-released tend to have unusually rapid, sometimes precipitous declines in public conversation.”
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'Falling Skies' season 3 to stream exclusively on Amazon

The sky is falling — but only on Amazon Prime.

The retailer announced today that beginning Saturday, Nov. 2, the third season of TNT’s post-apocalyptic drama will begin streaming exclusively on Amazon. Member’s of the site’s Prime service can watch all 10 episodes at no additional cost; Amazon is also the only online subscription service that carries Falling Skies‘s first and second seasons.

Falling Skies revolves around professor-turned-militia-leader-turned-U.S.-president Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), who leads a gang of scrappy survivors after an alien invasion. The series wrapped its third season in August, and has been renewed for a fourth earlier this year.

In wake of James Gandolfini's death, 'Sopranos' sales are up

Further proof that TV lovers won’t fuhgeddabout the late James Gandolfini anytime soon: Since the three-time Emmy winner’s untimely demise, sales of The Sopranos on DVD and digital download have risen dramatically on Amazon and iTunes, two of the only venues through which the show — off the air since 2007 — can be viewed today. (A&E began airing edited versions of Sopranos episodes in 2007, but the show no longer appears on the cable net’s schedule. Though the show is also available via HBO Go, HBO declines to share numbers for its streaming service.)

A $124.99, 30-disc set that contains the award-winning HBO series in its entirety has shot to the top of Amazon’s Movies & TV Best Sellers list, ranking only behind an instantly watchable version of the latest episode of Mad Men. The Sopranos: The Complete Series also tops Amazon’s DVD Best Sellers list, while The Sopranos: The Complete First Season ranks seventh and The Sopranos: Season 6, Part 2 (the series’ last set of episodes) ranks 10th. Season 6: Part 1 appears on the chart as well, at No. 14.
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Amazon picks up 'Alpha House' with John Goodman, 'Betas,' 3 children's shows

It’s all Greek to Amazon — at least when it comes to the retail site’s first original series for adults.

The company announced today that it has chosen five of the 14 pilots it posted online in April to become full-blown series: Alpha House, a political comedy created by Doonesbury‘s Garry Trudeau that stars John Goodman (and features a cameo by Bill Murray); Betas, a Silicon Valley-set comedy starring Ed Begley Jr.; and Annebots, Creative Galaxy, and Tumbleaf, three series aimed at kids.

Each show proved popular with Amazon customers, whose feedback was taken into account during the selection process. Amazon says that full series of all five will air exclusively on Prime Instant Video late this year and in early 2014, though no specific premiere dates have been set yet. READ FULL STORY

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