Amazon and CBS have extended their streaming partnership with a deal that covers three new summer series through 2018, starting with next year’s comedic thriller “BrainDead” from “The Good Wife” creators.
The deal gives Amazon access to the show four days after episodes premiere on CBS. That quick turnaround model was pioneered by CBS three years ago for drama “Under the Dome,” and has been a crucial source of financing for the Eye in expanding its slate of summer scripted series.
Amazon also has rights to CBS’ Halle Berry starrer “Extant,” which just wrapped its second season. But this past summer’s new entry, “Zoo,” went to Netflix for the SVOD window. There’s no word yet from CBS on renewals for “Extant” or “Zoo.”
Despite what is said to be a rich pact with Amazon, the summer shows will be made available for streaming on CBS All Access, both as a live offering and for three days after network premiere.
The licensing pact also expands the menu of CBS and Showtime library titles available to Amazon, ranging “I Love Lucy” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” to the original “Twin Peaks” to “The L Word.” It includes a selection of CBS Films titles including “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “Pride.”
“Prime members have loved having access to series like ‘Under The Dome’ and ‘Extant’ just four days after broadcast, and we’re excited to continue to offer in-season availability of more great CBS summer series over the next three years,” said Brad Beale, Amazon’s VP of digital video content acquisition. “We are also always working to ensure our Prime members have the best selection, and we know they will continue to enjoy unlimited access to a wide array of CBS titles to binge-watch anytime, anywhere.”
Amazon’s long-term deal with CBS underscores the heat of the competition among the three U.S. streaming heavyweights — Netflix, Amazon and Hulu — to lock up high-end content rights. The exponential growth in content spending by the SVOD players has been a windfall for major U.S. media congloms with deep TV and film vaults.
“We’re thrilled to build on our relationship with Amazon with new original summer series and more programming from CBS and Showtime,” said Scott Koondel, Chief Corporate Licensing Officer, CBS Corporation. “With a truly original, genre-bending concept from outstanding creative auspices, ‘Braindead’ will be one of the most talked-about shows next summer by CBS viewers and Prime members.”
“BrainDead” is billed as a comedic thriller that stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as a young Capitol Hill staffer who discovers that alien spawn are eating the brains of Congressional reps and staffers. The series hails from Robert and Michelle King, creators/exec producers of “The Good Wife.”