Episodes of ‘Arthur,’ ‘Hero Elementary’ and ‘Wild Kratts’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July

PBS Distribution will be adding new volumes of “Arthur” and “Hero Elementary,” along with a “Wild Kratts” special, to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due July 2 is Arthur Vol. 24. In one episode, George creates a piece of art for the country-wide art show with the help of guest artist, Kevin Sampson. Also, Arthur must learn how to control his temper after getting angry over a pair of sneakers in “George Scraps His Sculpture/Arthur’s Big Meltdown.” Then, in “The Great MacGrady,” Arthur and his friends find out that Mrs. MacGrady is diagnosed with cancer. The kids must learn how to come together to support each other.

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Starting to stream July 16 is Hero Elementary Vol. 8. In the two-part “Heroes in Space,” Sara is excited to celebrate the full moon viewing with her pals, but they notice that half the moon seems to be gone. Sparks’ Crew flies to the moon to investigate where the other half went. In “Squeak to Me/Team’s Song Theme Song,” Sparks’ Crew wants to make their own theme song. Then, when Sparks’ Crew is looking for their classmates in “Search and Rescue/Secret Lives of Teachers,” the kids are shocked to see their teacher on the weekend outside of school. What happens when a toy train display featuring a model replica of City Town is ruined is explored in “Back on Track/Switcheroo-er.”

Coming July 13 is Wild Kratts: Cats and Dogs. In the special, while on the African savanna, Chris Kratt and Martin Kratt observe lots of wild cats and dogs interacting with each other. Soon, Wild Kratts kids are calling in from all over to ask about these wild animals and whether they’re like their own pets. Zach, who has been secretly listening to all the questions, comes up with a scheme to capture and sell these creatures as “special” pets. The brothers, plus Aviva, Koki, and Jimmy, race to save the wild cats and dogs and protect them so they can live free and in the wild.

Also coming to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel in July are Let’s Go Luna Vol. 8 and Nature Cat: Ocean Commotion.

Musical ‘Cinderella’ Starring Camila Cabello to Bow Exclusively on Amazon Prime in September

The musical Cinderella, starring Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Camila Cabello, Idina Menzel and Billy Porter, will launch exclusively around the world in more than 240 countries and territories on Prime Video this September, Amazon announced.

The musical incorporates pop songs from contemporary global artists and original songs by Cabello and Menzel.

A new take on the traditional story, Cinderella features a heroine (Cabello) who is an ambitious young woman with dreams bigger than the world will allow. With the help of her Fab G (Porter), she is able to persevere and make her dreams come true.

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Cinderella is a classic we all know and love, but this time with a modern unique twist and starring the sensational Camila Cabello and an all-star cast,” said Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios. “Producer James Corden and the filmmaking team have taken this beloved fairytale and revamped it with a fresh, empowering perspective that will resonate with audiences and families around the world. We couldn’t be more excited for our global customers to sing and dance along to director Kay Cannon’s reimagination of this classic story.”

Cinderella is written for the screen and directed by Kay Cannon with covers of songs written by some of the top-selling musical artists of all time. The cast also includes Minnie Driver, Nicholas Galitzine and Pierce Brosnan. Producers are Leo Pearlman, James Corden, Jonathan Kadin and Shannon McIntosh, and executive producers are Louise Rosner and Josephine Rose.

Study: Netflix Added the Most Original Shows in First Quarter

Netflix added the most original TV shows and episodes in the first quarter, according to a study of streaming services from streaming hub Reelgood.

Meanwhile, HBO Max and Philo added the most total episodes and Amazon Prime Video the most movies, according to the Q1 SVOD Catalog Insights Report.

Production company Paramount saw the most movies added to any U.S. SVOD service in Q1 2021, though less than one-fifth of those films ended up on sister streaming service CBS All Access (now Paramount+). Almost one-third (32%) of Paramount movies added to SVODs in the quarter found a home on Amazon Prime Video, including the hit sequel Coming 2 America.

In the past six months, movies were passed around from one streaming service to another 2.4 times on average in the United States.

Reality TV shows available across all SVOD platforms in the first quarter increased by 92% year-over-year.

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Amazon Renews ‘Invincible’ For Two More Seasons

With the finale of the first season of animated superhero series “Invincible” slated for April 30 on Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Studios April 29 announced it has renewed the show for a second and third season.

From “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman, and based on the Image/Skybound comic of the same name by Kirkman, Cory Walker and Ryan Ottley, “Invincible” is an hour-long animated series intended for adults that revolves around 17-year-old Mark Grayson (voiced Steven Yeun), son of the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). But as Mark develops powers of his own, he discovers that his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems.

The cast also includes Sandra Oh, Seth Rogen, Gillian Jacobs, Andrew Rannells, Zazie Beetz, Mark Hamill, Walton Goggins, Jason Mantzoukas, Zachary Quinto, Mahershala Ali, Melise, Kevin Michael Richardson, Grey Griffin and Khary Payton.

“I’m extremely thankful to Amazon for the support and dedication they’ve put behind ‘Invincible,’” Kirkman said in a statement. “The comic book is truly a love letter to a genre that Cory (Walker) and I grew up reading and loving, and it’s been a gratifying journey to watch our characters come to life again through the animated series. We’re beyond excited to continue this story for at least two more seasons.”

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“Invincible is a crowning example of how a fresh and edgy approach to the superhero genre can resonate with audiences around the globe and we’re so glad that Invincible, one of our earliest investments in the adult animation genre, has accomplished just that,” said Vernon Sanders, co-head of television at Amazon Studios. “Robert’s no-holds-barred storytelling coupled with a first-class voice cast delivered on fans’ wildest expectations and we’re thrilled to be giving them more ‘Invincible.’”

New Series ‘Donkey Hodie’ Headed to PBS Kids Prime Video Channel May 3

PBS Distribution May 3 will add the new series “Donkey Hodie” to the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel.

The subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Following the adventures of Donkey Hodie, granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie character from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” (now known as “Grampy Hodie”), the new preschool puppet series arrives with three volumes. Children follow Donkey and her pals as they go on music-filled adventures while learning valuable lessons about resilience, persistence and problem solving.

The series is produced by Fred Rogers Productions (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) and Spiffy Pictures (“Nature Cat”) and features original music along with reimagined versions of Rogers’ songs.

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In volume one, Donkey Hodie must wait until all her pals are together to open a present. She uses her imagination to help pass the time. Then, Harriett Elizabeth Cow wants Donkey and her pals to try her new invention, the Bounce-a-Rino, and they must decide who bounces first. Also, a scary monster appears during Donkey and Panda’s sleepover.

In volume two, Donkey gives her new flower too much water, and it grows so big that it disrupts her garden and her pals’ fun. Then, when the wind ruins Donkey and Panda’s Camp Buddy Buddy plan, they must change the plan. Plus, Donkey and Panda host King Friday for the day, but they don’t know what kings like to do.

In volume three, Donkey and Panda lose Bob Dog’s favorite ball in Spooky Shadow Swamp, and they must find their inner bravery to get it back. Then, a noisy penguin interrupts Donkey and Panda’s band practice. Plus, Donkey creates a sculpture for the Someplace Else art show, makes mistakes and feels ready to give up.

Also coming to the channel in May are volume 10 of “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” and volume 17 of “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

Culinary Series ‘How She Rolls’ to Debut on PBS Living Channel in May

In May, “How She Rolls,” a half-hour lifestyle documentary and culinary series, will debut on the PBS Living channel, available on Prime Video and Apple TV Channels.

The subscription rate for PBS Living is $2.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription. PBS Living is also available on Apple TV Channels in the Apple TV app at a subscription rate of $2.99 per month with no additional annual fees.

The program follows the life of Carrie Morey, an award-winning baker, entrepreneur, and mother, wife and daughter who transformed a made-by-hand mail order biscuit company, Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, into one of the South’s best small business success stories.

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Each episode follows Morey as she balances being a mom to three daughters with the pressures of being a business owner in what has been an unpredictable year. Whether she’s traveling the country to attend food expos, dealing with the obstacles of opening a new breakfast and lunch biscuit eatery three hours from home, or putting work aside to prepare a dinner for her family, viewers follow Morey’s challenges and triumphs.

In the 10-episode inaugural season, viewers are introduced to Morey as she runs a growing business from her kitchen, her car, food festivals, her daughter’s volleyball games and anywhere else she finds herself. The series takes us from the early beginnings of starting her business — juggling her family life while opening a new store in Charlotte, N.C. — and soon after the opening, when the pandemic hits and the coronavirus overtakes America. Over the next few months, Morey sheds staff and runs out of flour, but also discovers a new path to success. With faith and determination, Morey is able to take her employees to a dairy farm to learn how buttermilk is made, cook with her parents (her culinary inspiration) and begin to create recipes for a new cookbook.

Three Murder Mystery Films With Agatha Christie Character Coming to PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May

Three murder mystery films, Agatha and the Truth of Murder, Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar and Agatha and the Midnight Murders will be streaming on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in May.

In the films, viewers follow what might have happened to the author Agatha Christie, a writer who also happens to investigate real life crimes.

The subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

Due May 11 is Agatha and the Truth of Murder. In the film, in 1926, with her writing in crisis and her personal life in tatters, a young Agatha Christie decides to solve a real-life murder. With Dean Andrews (“Ashes to Ashes,” “Life on Mars”), Bebe Cave (“Victoria,” “Great Expectations”), Amelia Dell and Ruth Bradley (“In Her Skin,” “Grabbers”) as Agatha Christie.

Coming May 18 is Agatha and the Curse of Ishtar. In the film, set in 1928, bruised from divorce and struggling with fame, Agatha travels to Iraq and finds a web of murder, intrigue and love. With Jonah Hauer-King (A Dog’s Way Home, World on Fire, Little Women) and Lyndsey Marshal (The Hours, Rome, Hereafter) as Agatha Christie.

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Available starting May 25 is Agatha and the Midnight Murders. In the film set in London in 1940, as the Blitz rages and her future is threatened by fallout from the war, Agatha makes the decision to kill off her most famous creation. With Blake Harrison (A Very English Scandal, World on Fire, “The Great”), Jacqueline Boatswain (Bloodborne, London Voodoo), Gina Bramhill (Us, “Sherlock,” “Endeavour”) and Helen Baxendale (Anonymous, “Cold Feet”) as Agatha Christie.

In addition, “Masterpiece: Indian Summers” seasons one and two will be added to the channel in May, as well as a number of international programs from Walter Presents including “Le Monstre,” “1864,” “Crimes of Passion” and “The Nordic Murders.”

Amazon Upped 2020 Content Spend 41% to $11 Billion

Among streamers such as Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu and Peacock, Amazon Prime Video remains relatively under the radar when it comes to publicized content spending.

So when founder/CEO Jeff Bezos released his final shareholder letter April 15, the world’s richest man threw out a lot of big numbers befitting a company tagged on Wall Street as No. 1 in market valuation. Not to be overlooked in the data dump: $11 billion in content spend on movies, TV shows and music in 2020. That’s up 41% from $7.8 billion in combined content spending in 2019.

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Netflix spent $11.8 billion on content in 2020, which was actually down almost 15% from $13.9 billion spent in 2019.

Amazon in recent years reduced content production as it focused monies on high-profile license agreements such as “NFL Thursday Night Football,” according to analyst Michael Pachter with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. He says Amazon is positioning to resume releasing original content at a steadier clip, as it had in the past. Amazon Studios recently installed a new, more comprehensive TV development team in place.

“We view [the move] as a way [for Amazon] to remain relevant in the face of heightened competition from various other streamers,” Pachter wrote in a note.

Separately, Bezos said the e-commerce pioneer created $126 billion in “value creation” economic benefit to consumers in 2020. He said most Amazon consumers complete 28% of their online purchases in three minutes or less, and half of all purchases are finished in less than 15 minutes.

When compared to the typical shopping trip to a physical store — driving,
parking, searching store aisles, waiting in the checkout line, finding your car, and driving home. Bezos said research suggests the typical physical store trip takes about an hour.

“If you assume that a typical Amazon purchase takes 15 minutes and that it saves you a couple of trips to a physical store a week, that’s more than 75
hours a year saved,” Bezos wrote.

Indeed, when valuing the time saved shopping through e-commerce at $10 per hour, Bezos estimates the average Amazon Prime member created $630 in annual “value creation” for themselves. A tally that skyrockets to $126 billion when multiplied by 200 million Prime members.

“That’s important,” wrote Bezos.

Amazon Prime Members Top 200 Million Worldwide

Amazon disclosed that its Prime membership base has topped 200 million worldwide. The e-commerce behemoth April 15 revealed the tally in founder/CEO Jeff Bezos’ final letter to shareholders. Bezos is stepping down from the CEO position to continue as chairman of the board. The CEO position will be assumed by Andy Jassy.

Jeff Bezos

Amazon, which is secretive about its Prime subscriber numbers, last disclosed such data at around 150 million members in 2020. Prime membership costs $119 annually (or $12.99 monthly), includes free two-day shipping on myriad items, and free access to Prime Video. The SVOD, which is available separately as well, now exceeds 200 million subs, making it on par with Netflix’s 203+ million subs globally at the end of 2020. Rival Disney+ has more than 100 million subs worldwide.

Bezos, who attached the company’s first shareholder letter from 1997 in his farewell note, also revealed that Amazon employs 1.3 million people, and that 60% of its retail sales are generated through more than 1.9 million small and medium-sized third-party businesses.

“To all of you: be kind, be original, create more than you consume, and never, never, never let the universe smooth you into your surroundings.
It remains Day 1,” Bezos wrote.

‘Them’ Top Rising Show on Weekly TV Time Chart

Amazon Prime’s “Them” was the top show on the rise on the TV Time chart for the week ended April 11.

Season one of the horror series follows a Black family in the 1950s who moves from North Carolina to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood. They are threatened in their idyllic home by malevolent forces, next door and otherworldly.

On the binge chart, following perennial binge favorite “Grey’s Anatomy” at No. 1 was the anime series “Attack on Titan,” which dropped from No. 1 to No. 2. The series is based on the manga and is set in a world where humanity lives within cities surrounded by enormous walls that protect them from gigantic man-eating humanoids referred to as Titans.

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TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV viewership tracking app that tracks consumers’ viewing habits worldwide and is visited by almost 1 million consumers every day, according to the service. The weekly “Binge Report” ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the app in a given day. The “Shows on the Rise” chart is calculated by determining the week-over-week growth in episodes watched for a given program. The network displayed is the network where the show first aired (e.g. “Friends” on NBC).

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Top Binge Shows Week Ended April 11 by Share of Binges:

  1. “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC U.S.) — 2.28%
  2. “Attack on Titan” (NHK) — 2.15%
  3. “LOL: Last One Laughing” (IT) (Amazon Prime Video) — 1.96%
  4. “Modern Family” (ABC U.S.) — 1.76%
  5. “The 100” (The CW) — 1.75%
  6. “One Piece” (Fuji TV) — 1.71%
  7. “Who Killed Sara?” (Netflix) — 1.44%
  8. “The Office” (U.S.) (NBC) — 1.11%
  9. “Naruto Shippuden” (TV Tokyo) — 1.04%
  10. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (NBC) — 0.98%

 

Top “Shows on the Rise” Week Ended April 11 by Rise Ratio:

  1. “Them” (Amazon Prime Video) — 99.8%
  2. “Tokyo Revengers” (MBS) — 97.9%
  3. “Family Reunion” (Netflix) — 95.5%
  4. “Hippocrate” (Canal+) — 92.7%
  5. “Heaven Official’s Blessing” (Bilibili) — 92.7%
  6. “Ex on the Beach Brazil” (MTV Brazil) — 89.4%
  7. “How Not to Summon a Demon Lord” (AT-X) — 87.1%
  8. “LOL: Last One Laughing” (IT) (Amazon Prime Video) — 78.6%
  9. “The Serpent” (BBC One/Netflix) — 78.5%
  10. “Vivy-Flourite Eye’s Song” (Tokyo MX) — 76.8%