Users of Amazon.com’s online streaming video service are getting access to even more shows, thanks to a new deal with NBC Universal announced this month. So which shows have been added to the already enticing pot?
Previous seasons of NBC dramas “Grimm” and “Hannibal” are being added to the online TV service. Season One of “Grimm” is available right now, though as of press time the current second season still looks to cost extra ($2.99 for an HD episode). Expect this season to enter the free zone sometime after Season Three premieres in the fall. The series is based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and stars David Giuntoli as Portland Police Detective Nick Burkhardt, who has the ability to see creatures hiding among us as normal people.
The new psychological thriller “Hannibal,” based on the novels by Thomas Harris, will be available later this year. In this prequel to the Anthony Hopkins classic “The Silence of the Lambs,” a young criminal profiler who helps the police solve grisly crimes is haunted by his ability to empathize with serial killers.
Also on the list of new additions is NBC’s “Smash,” which stars Debra Messing (“Will & Grace”) in the story of a group of performers preparing to stage an ambitious musical about the life of Marilyn Monroe.
NBC Universal also owns a number of cable channels, so the deal also includes popular original shows from USA and Syfy Channel. Past seasons of USA’s legal drama “Suits” and the spy thriller “Covert Affairs” are both available on Amazon today, thanks to the new deal.
The first season of Syfy’s hot new sci-fi series “Defiance” will be available for free for Amazon Prime members early in 2014. The show is currently airing Monday nights, with 12 episodes in the season, and has been renewed for a second season.
Syfy is also contributing past seasons of “Alphas” (which ran for two seasons), “Eureka” (five seasons), and fan-favorite “Warehouse 13” (currently airing its extended fourth season).
Last but not least, the new additions also include several kids’ shows from NBC, including “Curious George” and “Land Before Time.”
Amazon’s service, along with similar services like Hulu and Netflix, allow TV fans to catch up on past episodes of their favorite shows without that pesky cable or satellite subscription. They’ve contributing to the growing phenomenon of “binge viewing” – saving up long stretches of a show and then watching them intensely over a short period of time, rather than dragging out the storyline week-to-week. It’s an especially good way to enjoy shows that are highly serialized, as well as those whose writers love to torment viewers with weekly cliffhangers!
The three online services have been duking it out for supremacy in recent years, striking various deals with the TV and film studios for content distribution. Some of these deals means you will find a show available on multiple platforms – while others, like this month’s NBCU/Amazon agreement, will put those shows exclusively on one site.
Amazon’s pay subscription service – Amazon Prime – gives customers access to a large catalog of shows for around $7 per month (paid annually), which also includes the retailer’s 2-day shipping service. Shows are available to watch on your computer, Kindle HD, and other compatible devices.