Under the pact, each episode of “Mercy Street” will be available to Prime members in the U.S. seven days after broadcast on PBS stations. The series pilot is available as of Thursday free to all Amazon users, three days before its broadcast premiere on PBS stations Sunday, Jan. 17, following “Downton Abbey” on Masterpiece.
The six-episode “Mercy Street,” based on both historical and composite characters, is set on the Civil War home front of Virginia in the spring of 1862. The show follows the lives of two volunteer nurses on opposite sides of the conflict. “Mercy Street” stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“The Returned,” “The Spectacular Now”) as staunch New England abolitionist Mary Phinney, and Hannah James (“Winding Lane”) as naive young Confederate belle Emma Green.
Amazon already has exclusive pacts for past seasons of other PBS period dramas, including “Downton Abbey” and “Mr. Selfridge,” noted VP of digital video content acquisition Brad Beale. In addition, he said, “Prime members have valued having in-season access to shows like (CBS’s) ‘Extant’ and ‘Under the Dome,’ and we’re thrilled to provide even more in-season availability with PBS’s ‘Mercy Street.'”
PBS chief programming officer Beth Hoppe hopes the deal can drive viewers to support their local public TV outlet. “This collaboration with Amazon showcases ‘Mercy Street’ to Prime Video members, bringing new fans to the series and our stations,” she said.
“Mercy Street” is executive produced by Ridley Scott (“The Martian,” “The Man in the High Castle”), David W. Zucker (“The Good Wife,” “The Man in the High Castle”), Lisa Q. Wolfinger (“Desperate Crossing,” “The Untold Story of the Mayflower”) and David Zabel (“ER”).
The drama also stars Josh Radnor (“How I Met Your Mother”), Gary Cole (“Veep,” “The Good Wife”), Norbert Leo Butz (“Bloodline”), Tara Summers (“You’re The Worst,” “Boston Legal”), Peter Gerety (“Syriana,” “Charlie Wilson’s War”) and Anna Sophia Robb (“The Carrie Diaries,” “The Bridge to Terebithia”).