Online streaming platforms like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are currently in an arms race to pick up the stateside streaming rights for acclaimed TV programs from the UK. While its competitors distribute their own British shows, Amazon has stepped up its offerings from across the pond by striking a deal with PBS to bring four installments of the Masterpiece series–Wolf Hall, Poldark, Grantchester, and Indian Summers–to its Prime subscribers.
Masterpiece (formerly known as Masterpiece Theater) has since 1971 provided an anthology of historical dramas co-produced by PBS and British TV networks like the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4. The most famous of these dramas, at least currently, is Downton Abbey, for which Amazon already owns the exclusive American streaming rights. The series included in the new deal are set between the 16th and 20th centuries. They all premiered first on British TV channels before coming to the US through PBS.
PBS’ Masterpiece arsenal joins an attractive slate of British programs available through Amazon Prime. The premium service, which costs $99 per year, is also the American streaming home of Catastrophe, an acclaimed Channel 4 comedy that was recently renewed for a second season.
Amazon’s offerings from overseas complement the original series it distributes exclusively to its subscribers. With its latest additions, it is giving the viewers who have made Downton Abbey a worldwide phenomenon plenty more to get excited about.