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Amazon producing its own shows

Nov. 13, 2013 @ 07:36 AM

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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