USA scored big with this summer’s surprise hit Mr. Robot and Amazon has jumped on the opportunity to sign an exclusive deal. Variety reports that starting in spring 2016 Amazon will offer season 1 of the show for free to Prime members in the U.S., U.K. Germany, Austria, and Japan. Distribution rights for films and TV are often sold in regional packages and no word has been released on who may have won the rights for other regions, or if they are still up for grabs.
Amazon has been fighting for its space in the digital market by both creating original content and growing a solid database of interesting shows like The Killing, Drunk History, and The Blacklist mixed in with trendy, newsmaking fare like Inside Amy Schumer. They’ve also signed deals for superstar shows Downton Abbey, 24, and Orphan Black.
Mr. Robot mesmerized audiences and critics this summer. Writing for Vox, Todd VanDerWerff commented, “The greatest compliment I can pay to Mr. Robot, is that it feels like how I sometimes imagine my life. The characters wander a gray cityscape, surrounded by a massive electronic web they cannot see but can somehow perceive, rattling away in the distance. They’re caught in it, and sometimes they know they’re caught in it, but there’s little they can do. This is the way we live now. This is the way we’ve chosen to live now.”
The plot centers on Elliott, played by Rami Malek (Short Term 12, Need for Speed) a hacker who’s too smart for his own good. So smart, in fact, that he’s paralyzed with anxiety over the world around him, seeking connection through his computer and fighting in small ways to make some good in the world. He’s recruited by Christian Slater’s Mr. Robot, a one-man Anonymous trying to prop up America while ranting about debt and the American way. With Elliott barely hanging on, who’s the sane one and who’s off-kilter?
If you’ve never watched the show check out the extended sneak peek:
Written by Sam Esmail the show was so popular right out of the gate that it was renewed for a second season before it premiered on-air. (An early premiere was released on VOD and streaming.) Esmail’s influences run dark; he credits cult fare like A Clockwork Orange, American Psycho, and Taxi Driver as big influences, so it will be interesting to see how he keeps the show gritty without falling into becoming too dark for mainstream audiences.
Amazon’s original show Transparent won five Emmys this year including best actor for Jeffrey Tambor. To celebrate, the retailer is dropping its price on Amazon Prime for one day only, September 25 until midnight, to $67 (this was the 67th Emmys) for new members. Details are at Amazon.com/TransparentPrime.