The first 10 episodes of the show, starring Golden Globe-nominee Tatiana Maslany, will be available for free Friday, starting at 12:01 a.m. PT and ending at 11:59 p.m. PT, on Amazon Instant Video apps for TVs, connected devices and mobile devices, and on the web.
The e-commerce giant’s goal: to get binge-watchers hooked on “Orphan Black” so they’ll subscribe to Amazon Prime to catch up on season 2. Amazon last year struck a pact with BBC Worldwide North America under which Prime Instant Video is the exclusive subscription VOD service for seasons one and two of the series. The unlimited video service is available through the $99-per-year Prime membership program geared around free two-day shipping.
Season three of “Orphan Black” premieres Saturday, April 18, at 9 p.m. ET on BBC America as well as on sister networks AMC, IFC, Sundance TV and We TV. Separately, IFC is running an “Orphan Black” marathon starting Friday with back-to-back airings of the first two seasons.
Amazon staged a similar one-day free streaming promo of “Transparent” season one in January, hoping for a halo effect from its Golden Globe wins for the Amazon Studios original dramedy starring Jeffrey Tambor.
“‘Orphan Black’ has been extremely popular with Prime members since the series became available exclusively in Prime Instant Video — that’s why we’re excited to make season one available to all customers for free, for a day,” said Michael Paull, Amazon’s VP of digital video.
“You better cancel all meetings and take Friday off from work,” added Matt Forde, BBC Worldwide North America exec VP of sales, co-productions and digital distribution. “For fans of television who have heard the critical and fan buzz around ‘Orphan Black,’ but just haven’t had gotten to it, this offering from Amazon is a treat.”
The doppelgänger drama, created by Graeme Manson and John Fawcett, stars Maslany in multiple roles as a series of clones created in a secret experiment decades earlier. The story opens with the main character, Sarah, witnessing the suicide of a woman who looks exactly like her. She makes contact with some of her other clone sisters, and together they try to uncover the truth about their mysterious origins — while eluding assassins sent to kill them off.
Series is produced by Temple Street Prods. in association with BBC America and Bell Media’s Space, and executive produced by Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier of Temple Street. “Orphan Black” is distributed by BBC Worldwide and airs in more than 170 countries.