Amazon producing its own shows
CULVER CITY, Calif. — There’s a new kid on the block at Culver Studios.
Inside a towering soundstage, just around the corner from where such television comedies as TBS’ “Cougar Town” and Showtime’s “Episodes” have been filmed, another production is in full swing. A set depicting a high-tech, two-story office is hosting a boozy party scene for “Betas,” a comedy about a quirky crew of app creators in Silicon Va l ley.
But unlike its neighboring productions, the new series will likely never air on TVs. Instead, it will stream on them, in addition to many other devices. “Betas” is one of the first original series from Amazon, the online retail giant who’s taking a cue from Netflix and Hulu by producing its own shows that will only be available on Amazon Instant Video, a content service for paying members.
Amazon’s move into content creation is another click in the evolution of online video, legitimized earlier this year by the success of “House of Cards,” the political drama from online streaming service Netflix Inc. starring Kevin Spacey. That show was nominated for a best drama Emmy, alongside the likes of AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” which ultimately nabbed the prize.
Over the past year, Amazon.com Inc. has bolstered its streaming video library beyond typical movies and TV shows by locking down the exclusive streaming rights to such buzzed-about series as “Downton Abbey,” “Falling Skies,” “Justified” and “Under the Dome.” The Seattle-based company is hoping to now build hype — and attract subscribers — with its own shows.
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