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Amazon Scores Another PBS Exclusive, ‘Mr. Selfridge’ Starring Jeremy Piven

Streaming service has pact for 'Downton Abbey' and rights to other pubcaster fare

Amazon struck a deal with PBS for exclusive online-only subscription VOD rights to period drama “Mr. Selfridge,” which stars Jeremy Piven.

Starting Wednesday, Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service will offer season 1 of the ITV Studios/Masterpiece co-production from WGBH Boston.

Deal follows the agreement PBS and Amazon cut earlier this year under which Amazon — as of Dec. 1 — will have exclusive subscription VOD rights to all past and future “Downton Abbey” seasons. This summer, the companies expanded their multiyear licensing deal for hundreds of additional episodes of shows including “Nova,” “Masterpiece” and Ken Burns documentaries plus kids’ shows like “Caillou,” “Arthur,” “Daniels Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Dinosaur Train” and “Wild Kratts.”

“Our Prime customers have an appetite for ‘Masterpiece,’ as evidenced by the undeniable success of ‘Downton Abbey’ — which is the all-time most watched series on Prime Instant Video,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “‘Mr. Selfridge’ is another great ‘Masterpiece’ show that our customers love and we are excited to add it to our growing list of exclusive programming in Prime Instant Video.”

Second season of “Mr. Selfridge” is set to premiere in spring 2014 on PBS stations. “While PBS stations will always be the first place to see our premier content, we are also happy to give viewers additional ways to enjoy the PBS programs they love wherever they want,” PBS Distribution co-president Andrea Downing said.

Drama is based on an adaption of Lindy Woodhead’s biography “Shopping, Seduction & Mr. Selfridge.” The series follows the opulent Selfridges department store in London and the life of its eccentric owner, Harry Gordon Selfridge (Piven).

Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service is available to members of Prime, which offers free two-day shipping on certain products for $79 per year.

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