PBS Bows Discount Deal on PBS Kids, PBS Documentaries and PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channels

PBS Distribution has announced an early Black Friday through Cyber Monday deal for the PBS Masterpiece, PBS Documentaries, and PBS Kids Prime Video Channels. Each channel will be available to new subscribers at a subscription rate of 99 cents per month for two months beginning Nov. 23 and running through Nov. 29.

The standard subscription rate for the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel is $5.99 per month with an Amazon Prime membership. The standard subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime membership. The standard subscription rate for the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel is $4.99 per month with an Amazon Prime membership.

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The PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel offers British and international dramas such as “Masterpiece: All Creatures Great and Small” and “Masterpiece: Sanditon,” mystery-thriller series such as “Professor T,” and “Masterpiece: Miss Scarlet and The Duke,” as well as award-winning series from around the globe through “Walter Presents.” On the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel, viewers can stream the entire library of Ken Burns programs, including the new “Muhammad Ali” docuseries. Also available, Frontline’s “A Thousand Cuts” featuring Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist Maria Ressa as well as films from “American Masters,” “Independent Lens,” “Nature” and “Nova.” On the PBS Kids Prime Video Channel, viewers can explore more than 1,400 hours of learning adventures for kids and watch PBS Kids series such as the newly launched series from Sesame Street’s Sonia Manzano, “Alma’s Way.” Other series include “Donkey Hodie,” “Wild Kratts,” “Arthur,” “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood,” “Odd Squad,” “Hero Elementary,” “Elinor Wonders Why,” and the Peabody award winning series “Molly of Denali,” among others.

Bing Crosby Bio, ‘The First Silent Night’ Among Titles Streaming on PBS Living Channel in November

Bing Crosby: Rediscovered from “American Masters,” and The First Silent Night, a documentary on the Christmas carol, are coming to the PBS Living streaming channel in November.

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

American Masters — Bing Crosby: Rediscovered, which starts streaming Nov. 26, explores one of the most popular and influential multi-media stars of the first half of the 2oth century. For over three decades, through radio, film, television and records he reigned supreme. A brilliant entrepreneur, Crosby played an important role in the development of the postwar recording industry. Crosby recorded nearly 400 hit singles, an achievement only Sinatra, Elvis or the Beatles have matched. Almost 40 years after his death, he remains the most recorded performer in history. Narrated by Stanley Tucci and directed by Robert Trachtenberg, the film explores the life and legend of the iconic performer, revealing a personality far more complex than the image the public had known.

Actor Simon Callow discovers the hidden meaning of one of the most popular Christmas carols in The First Silent Night, which begins streaming Nov. 30. Callow journeys to the Austrian village of Oberndorf as well as the city of Salzburg, where the story of the world’s favorite carol originated. The First Silent Night introduces us to two impoverished children — Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber — who grew up in Austria’s cobbled streets and wooded villages. The hard years that shaped them also destined them to meet one day in a poor country church, where they united Gruber’s music and Mohr’s text into this classic carol about the birth of a third poor boy on a quiet night in ancient Palestine.

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Also coming to the channel Nov. 30 is Ken Burns: Seeing, Searching, Being, which explores the life William Segal, the great philosopher, publisher, writer and painter. Segal searched relentlessly and compassionately for meaning in the 2oth century. He helped bring Eastern and Western spiritual traditions together, always stressing what connected humanity rather than what differentiated it. In the last decade of his life, Segal befriended the documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, and the two collaborated on this film, which focuses on Segal as he paints and discusses the creative process and the intimate personal and spiritual relationship between the artist and the work of art. This documentary also visits the painter in his studio and in a gallery as he prepares an exhibition of his lithographs. In his on-camera interviews, Segal talks about his life and the practices he uses to live in the moment, embracing all that is around him.

Also coming to the PBS Living channel in November are The Oratorio: A Documentary With Martin Scorsese, Da Ponte’s Oratorio: A Concert for New York, Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America, Independent Lens: Storm Lake and Road Food.

Amazon Prime Video to Stream Fourth ‘Hotel Transylvania’ Film

Amazon Prime Video has licensed worldwide streaming rights (excluding China) to Hotel Transylvania: Transformania from Sony Pictures Animation. The fourth installment of the family film franchise will premiere worldwide in more than 240 countries and territories on Prime Video on Jan. 14, 2022.

In the film, Drac (Brian Hull) and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny (Andy Samberg) becomes a monster. In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure. With help from Mavis (Selena Gomez) and the now human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent. The film also features the voices of Kathryn Hahn (Ericka), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Molly Shannon (Wanda), David Spade (Griffin the Invisible Man), Keegan-Michael Key (Murray), Fran Drescher (Eunice), Brad Abrell (Frank) and Asher Blinkoff (Wesley the Wolf Pup).

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“The success of the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise over the years speaks for itself,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “Audiences around the world have fallen in love with the films created by the brilliant Genndy Tartakovsky, and the latest installment is the perfect ending to an incredible journey. We could not be more excited to work with Sony, Genndy, Jennifer Kluska, Derek Drymon, Selena Gomez and the talented producing team to bring this funny, heartwarming film to our customers early next year.”

“The ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise has been exceptional for Sony Pictures Animation, spanning nearly a decade and introducing the world to Genndy Tartakovsky’s singular vision, and we’re so proud of what our extraordinary directors Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon have brought to this special property,” Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation, said in a statement. “These films have thrilled audiences and paved the way for so many artists working in CG animation, and now the family saga of Dracula and his daughter Mavis, son-in-law Johnny, and monster BFFs is coming to a close. We are thrilled to work with Amazon to bring this film to families everywhere.”

For the final chapter of the “Hotel Transylvania” film series, franchise creator Genndy Tartakovsky returns as one of the screenwriters and executive producers. Gomez will also serve as an executive producer. Directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska, the film is produced by Alice Dewey Goldstone and executive produced by Tartakovsky, Michelle Murdocca, and Gomez. The story is by Genndy Tartakovsky with a screenplay by Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo and Genndy Tartakovsky.

Amazon Inks Deal With Eddie Murphy

Amazon Studios has announced a three-picture and first-look film deal with Academy Award-nominee and Emmy Award winner Eddie Murphy.

Under the pact, Murphy will star in three films for Amazon Studios and develop original film projects for Prime Video and Studios with the potential to star.

The deal formalizes Murphy’s relationship with Amazon Studios on the heels of the success of Coming 2 America, according to Amazon. Following its March 5 release on Prime Video, the comedy was the No. 1 streamed movie of the weekend, with the No. 1 opening weekend of any other streaming movie in 2021 to date, and No. 1 opening weekend of any streaming movie in the past 12 months (post-COVID theater closures),  per third-party Screen Engine/ASI’s weekly PostVODTM ranking, Amazon noted. The film also topped Nielsen’s weekly streaming rankings among all streamed SVOD content.

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“Eddie is a legend both in front of and behind the camera,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “With undeniable comedic and dramatic genius, he consistently delivers entertaining, original stories and characters to audiences around the world. We could not be more excited to help carry on the tradition and to officially welcome Eddie into the Amazon family.”

Murphy will next produce and star in Netflix’s Beverly Hills Cop 4 and star opposite Jonah Hill in a Kenya Barris-directed comedy for Netflix.

Amazon Studios Sets Theatrical, Streaming Dates for ‘My Name Is Pauli Murray’ Doc

Amazon Studios has announced theatrical and home release dates for My Name Is Pauli Murray, a film about social justice crusader Pauli Murray, a non-binary Black lawyer, activist and poet who influenced both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall.

The film will be released in theaters Sept. 17 and on the Prime Video streaming service on Oct. 1.

By the time the Supreme Court overturned separate-but-equal legislation, Murray was already knee-deep fighting for social justice. A pioneering attorney, activist, priest and dedicated memoirist, Murray shaped landmark litigation—and consciousness— around race and gender equity. As an African American youth raised in the segregated South, Murray understood what it was to exist beyond previously accepted categories and cultural norms. Both Murray’s personal path and tireless advocacy foreshadowed some of the most politically consequential issues of our time.

All Seasons of ‘Seaside Hotel’ Streaming on PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel

All eight seasons (40 episodes) of the Danish TV series “Seaside Hotel” are becoming available to stream on the PBS Masterpiece Prime Video Channel in September, with season eight debuting Sept. 17.

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

Fondly known as “Danish Downton-by-the-sea,” the series follows the drama of the guests and employees of a seaside hotel. “Downton Abbey” meets “Agatha Christie” in this sleeper hit that began its first season in 2013, set in 1920s Denmark. Seasons one through five each follow a summer hotel season in the years 1928 though 1932. Seasons six through eight each follow a summer season in the years 1939 through 1941.

In the series, when an 18-year-old girl from a working-class family starts work at this rural beach hotel, her father warns her not to fraternize with the bourgeois guests, but as secrets about each guest begin to unravel, the seemingly idyllic rural life is much more dramatic than Fie expected. The hotel owner is immediately charmed by her good looks and quickly promotes her to chambermaid, which causes shockwaves through the normally strictly conventional hotel. The owner’s wife is wary, the other maids are jealous and the local young farmer is intrigued by this pretty new addition to his client’s staff. As the annual visitors settle into their rooms, Fie begins to learn about old habits and new secrets, as their chambermaid unwittingly becomes party to betrayal, murder and unexpected desires.

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When the seaside hotel opens its doors in season eight, the year is 1941 and WWII becomes harder to dismiss from everyone’s mind. A life with rationing marks, scarcity of goods and German soldiers in the street has long since become commonplace. The Germans have moved closer and have now taken over the neighboring hotels only 1 kilometer from the beach hotel. However, this does not stop the spa hotel’s regulars from packing their suitcases and checking in as usual.

Ken Burns Docuseries ‘Muhammad Ali’ Streaming on PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel Sept. 19

Muhammad Ali, a new four-part documentary directed by Ken Burns, will begin streaming on the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel Sept. 19.

It will be available in 4K Ultra HD.

The subscription rate for the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel is $3.99 per month with an Amazon Prime or Prime Video subscription.

The new series, which was in development for six years, was also written and co-directed by Sarah Burns and David McMahon, whose previous collaborations with Burns include The Central Park Five (2012), Jackie Robinson (2016) and East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story (2020).

The film follows the life of one of the most consequential men of the 20th century, a three-time heavyweight boxing champion who captivated billions with his combination of speed, agility and power in the ring, as well as his charm, wit and outspokenness outside of it. At the height of his fame, Ali challenged Americans’ racial prejudices, religious biases and notions about what roles celebrities and athletes play in our society, and inspired people all over the world with his message of pride and self-affirmation.

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Drawing from archival footage and photographs, contemporary music, and the insights and memories of eyewitnesses — including family and friends, journalists, boxers and historians, among many others — the docuseries is a sweeping portrait of an American icon. The series details the story of the athlete who called himself — and was considered by many to be — “the greatest of all time” and competed in some of the most dramatic and widely viewed sporting events in history, including “The Fight of the Century” and “The Thrilla in Manila,” both against his great rival Joe Frazier, as well as “The Rumble in the Jungle,” in which he defeated George Foreman to regain the heavyweight title that was stripped from him seven years earlier.

Muhammad Ali captures Ali’s principled resistance to the Vietnam War, his steadfast commitment to his Muslim faith, and his complex relationships with Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. While largely celebrated today as an icon of American sport and culture, Ali was not always embraced. At times he was reviled by many in America, especially white Americans and members of the media. Ali faced a firestorm of criticism when he said, “I ain’t got nothing against them Viet Cong” — a stance that would result in five years of legal jeopardy and a three-and-a-half-year banishment from boxing.

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Ali’s story is full of contradictions. Despite his ruthlessness in the ring, he was a symbol of peace and pacifism. Though committed to a faith that expected dignified conduct, he was notoriously unfaithful to his wives. A clever showman with unparalleled genius for promotion, he occasionally allowed partners and friends to take advantage of him. Endlessly trumpeting his own greatness, he anonymously donated much of his fortune.

Muhammad Ali includes interviews with Ali’s daughters Hana Ali and Rasheda Ali, his second wife Khalilah Ali, his third wife Veronica Porche, and his brother and confidant Rahaman Ali. Others appearing in the film include activist and former basketball player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, sportswriter Howard Bryant, historian Gerald Early, civil rights activist Jesse Jackson, friend and business manager Gene Kilroy, boxing promoter Don King, novelist Walter Mosley, long-time friend Abdul Rahman, and New Yorker editor David Remnick, among others.

Other titles coming to the PBS Documentaries Prime Video Channel in September include American Experience: Citizen Hearst, American Experience: Jimmy Carter, Season 1, American Experience: Reagan, Season 1, American Experience: Supreme Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor, American Masters: Raul Julia: The World’s a Stage, American Masters: Twyla Moves, Discovering Your Warrior Spirit with D.J. Vanas, Frontline: America After 9/11, Frontline: Boeing’s Fatal Flaw, Generation 9/11, Independent Lens: Harvest Season, Lives Well Lived, Nova: Bat Superpowers and Nova: The Cannabis Question.

Remy Merriex Joins Prime Video Marketing Team

Remy Merriex will join Prime Video’s marketing team as global executive creative director.

In this new leadership role, he will oversee the development of global creative campaigns across Prime Video brand, content and originals marketing.

Merriex most recently served as global head of creative, messenger, at Facebook. Prior to that, he led creative on entertainment and brand marketing for Facebook Watch, gaming, live and Lasso. He is also an advisor and mentor for The One School, supporting the advertising and design industry by offering diversity, education, leadership programs and more for all creatives.

Merriex reports to Ukonwa Ojo, CMO for Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

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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.